First Braille Smartphone Could be Out by the Year’s End

Braille

It’s amazing what technology can do, and what it can help us accomplish. Today this is highlighted by a truly impressive breakthrough, it seems that the first Braille-enabled smartphone could be ready for stores by the year’s end.

Apparently the Braille-enabled smartphone is the work of interaction designer Sumit Dagar who has spent three years working on the device and is now preparing to enter it into a testing phase. If all goes well, it will then start the commercial process. Sumit has also seen a lot of help with this project in the form of award money from Rolex and collaboration efforts with the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi and LV Prasad Eye Institute in Hyderabad.

So how would this very unique phone work? Basically it would feature a haptic touch screen that elevates and depresses content it receives. This means that data it receives could be transformed into touchable patterns that would allow the blind to feel what the phone is displaying.

The hardware consists of a grid of tiny pins that move up and down to accommodate text and images as well, and uses shape-memory alloy technology to expand or contract to its original shape after being used.

“Technology is giving everyone superpowers, but many blind people are not able to tap into these cool, new features, and the technology is making them even more disabled,” Dagar said recently in Rolex interview. “So I decided to do something that could reach out to this population.”

No word on the costs of this phone or exactly when it will arrive later this year, but we have to admit this is a really cool idea and its always great to see new technology that could truly make an important difference in someone’s life.

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[ Image Credit: Sumit Dagar via CNET ]


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