Braille e-book for the blind

    A European Union-funded consortium is developing a special braille display for reading electronic books. The developers believe that their product will be able to help the visually impaired and blind in the first fully access to such an opportunity as reading electronic books.

    The device Anagraphs , which can be connected to any e-book, or a personal computer, uses resistive touch screen to create a braille dots and formation of the text with the help of wax.

    Compared to the existing electronic technology for forming Braille, when using a field with holes and special retractable pins, this development is not only easier, but also cheaper to manufacture.

    “Device availability has been one of the top priorities since the start of Anagraphs development,” said Peter Fowell, Anagraphs project manager at Pera Technology, the project coordinator for the consortium.

    “Devices that form Braille based on pin technology, before that, were, in fact, only a large-scale model of digital technology of Braille. In addition, these devices were very expensive to manufacture. Our goal is to reduce the cost of the device by using wax in the process of forming the font and to provide the ability to read as many people as possible. The Anagraphs project gives us this opportunity because it is less expensive than existing text-forming devices that use the principle of creating one line of Braille in their work. "

    The device uses the so-called thermo-hydraulic micro-response in conjunction with software developed by Pera Technology, which allows you to display up to 6,000 braille points on the screen. When using the screen, resistive heating occurs, which expands the paraffin waxes, converting them from liquid to solid.

    Anagraphs team, with the participation of researchers from the Fraunhofer Institute for Photonic Chips (Germany), as well as private companies CK Productions, Innora, and Hobart Lasers, believe that blind and partially sighted people will finally gain access to the treasures of world literature thanks to one a small portable device that allows you to replace a huge library.

    “In an era when consumer and technology are irrevocably intertwined in our daily lives, the ability to read e-books provides another tool for understanding the world around us,” Peter explained. "Given how far consumer technologies have come in such a short period of time, it is extremely important for us that everyone, regardless of their physical capabilities, can equally use the achievements of scientific developments in this area."

    Anagraphs has received £ 1.23m of funding from the EU program and is currently in the final stages of development.

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