The Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi researchers have created India’s first Braille laptop for the visually-impaired. The laptop is named DotBook, and it has a feature-packed, affordable Braille display. The laptop comprises 10-cell refreshable Braille Cell modules.
It is expected that the DotBook will be able to create a positive impact for the visually impaired community as independent digital access has become a vital part of day-to-day living. The laptop will help in solving issues such as social inclusion and creating equal opportunities in education and employment for the blind community.
DotBook is being launched in two variants:
- DotBook 20P: 20-Cell Braille Variant with Perkins Keys
- DotBook 40Q: 40-Cell Braille Variant with QWERTY Keyboard
The currently available 40-cell refreshable Braille Device costs USD 2500 on an average, which is unaffordable for people in countries like India. DotBook is built on IIT Delhi’s patented Shape Memory Alloy Technology that helps bring this cost down by almost 60% and thus helping make this device accessible to the millions who were previously un-catered-to. This becomes very significant as low income countries contribute to over 90% of the world’s visually impaired population.
According to Prof M. Balakrishnan, IIT Delhi, project-lead, “DotBook represents an excellent example of user oriented applied research. On one hand it is not only inter-disciplinary in nature as it brings together advanced techniques in mechanical, low power electronics, software and UI design together but is also a result of sustained efforts over four years of a multi-organizational team comprising academics, two industry partners and a user organization.”
Image Courtesy: India Today