India Indian Institute of Technology Delhi researchers and scientists developed a country’s first Braille Laptop ‘DotBook’ for the visually impaired community.
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-organisational team comprising academics, two industry partners and a user organisation.”
TECHNOLOGY & FEATURES
This is a cost-effective, ergonomic design with an aim to eliminate the dependence on laptops and writing assistants. The DotBook 40Q is specially designed & developed for the Visually Impaired, using IIT Delhi’s Patented Technology based on Shape Memory Alloys; with built-in applications such as:
- File Manager
- Notepad & Word Processor – Read & Edit Text & Doc Files
- Screen Readers (NVDA: Windows PC & Laptops | Braille Back: Anroid OS)
- Web Browser
- Ebook Manager (Browse, Search, Download & Read eBooks – .brf, .epub, .txt, .pdf files)
DESIGN THOUGHT PROCESS
The DotBook Technology provides ‘line by line’ output of Digital Content through a Tactile interface, thereby streamlining the procedure of reading and managing the digital content. Based on Visually-impaired Users’ interaction with the system at every stage of development including problem identification, design feedback, and prototype validation, we refined DotBook’s design to make it even more user-friendly, convenient and cost-effective.
DotBook is armed with AM335x 1GHz ARM Cortex-A8 high processing speed processors and powered by inbuilt rechargeable batteries. It supports Bluetooth/USB/ Wi-Fi interface and can be connected with a multitude of devices such as computers and smartphone. This standalone and portable device with a user-centric and ergonomic design aims to create true empowerment for people with Visual Impairment, be it at School, at Work or during Leisure.
The QWERTY Keyboard acts as a plus point for Users who have gotten used to using standard laptops and computers and are comfortable with the QWERTY Format for input. This can be converted at any time to a Perkins input method, for Users who prefer the Classic Perkins setup.
Technical detail input and photo from iAble