Digital Access for the Blind with BrailleMe

About Solution

Innovision (www.innovisiontech.co) aims to leverage innovation to develop assistive technology solutions for the empowerment of persons with disability with a special focus on affordability. The technology products targeted at persons with disability have been traditionally developed in the western world where constraints of income have not been a focus of development. Consequently the existing assistive solutions in the market are very expensive and unaffordable for 90% of the target user base which according to WHO lives in low income settings globally. The company was founded by IIT Bombay alumni in 2015 and has been incubated at SINE (IIT TBI) since its incorporation. Innovision’s flagship product BrailleMe is targeted at digital accessibility for the global visually impaired community in their own script of Braille. BrailleMe – the world’s most affordable digital braille device is a tactile tablet bringing the digital world at the fingertips of the blind by means of electronically moving pins. 

TARGETED PROBLEM: There are 40 million blind individuals globally facing numerous challenges in access to both printed and digital resources. For centuries Braille has been their only script wherein the sensation of touch is used to read. Over time Braille has supported over 100 languages globally to cater to regional education. With shift towards digital resources though printed material became limited and outdated leading to literacy decrease to 10% and employment to 30% with Braille being critical for job skills such as spelling, grammar, analytics etc.  The assistive technology to support digital devices - computers, smart phones have been audio based and have been limited by a lack of script, limited language support (English predominantly), lack of privacy and prolonged usage of headphones being detrimental to hearing. The existing aids which support digital content and allow device access in Braille have been catering to less than 10% blind population living in developed countries due to unaffordable price >$3000. Our low cost ($400) digital Braille device - BRAILLEME enables digital accessibility in their own script Braille at 10 times better price with higher functionality made possible by our innovative technology and targeted strategy.

OUR SOLUTIONBrailleMe is Innovsion’s flagship product – a digital tactile tablet for a visually impaired person. It has an electronic - fast, smooth 20-cell 6-dot Braille display designed to give paper-like crispness. It has a Brailler style keypad and cursor buttons for dynamic typing. It is ideal for students for easy access to books and note-taking and working professionals with compatibility with computers and screen readers and enabling a seamless experience of Braille and audio. Digital, affordable, and powerful. Now they can surf the internet, read millions of books, connect to mobile and computer all in Braille. Powered by our patented Braille cell technology, it is significantly more BrailleMe is currently selling in India and globally through our international distributor collaborations in US, South Africa, Turkey, Middle East (20 Arabic speaking countries through master distributor in Saudi Arabia), Malaysia and France. The domestic sales are also spread pan-India through distributors and channel partners who are localizing BrailleMe and training. The company is also in discussion with other international distributors who have purchased trial units and are part of the planned global expansion.Key features of BrailleMe:

  On-the-go access: to braille books and standard sighted text content too

  Note taking: create, edit and store documents replacing strenuous method of stylus and slate for work and note-taking

  Exams: BrailleMe makes students independent. Rather than having scribes, now students can themselves give exams in braille using BrailleMe and give soft copy to teacher. (the soft copy is in sighted text as Braille Me does automatic conversion of braille to sighted text)

  Multi-language: BrailleMe supports all major Indian languages and common global languages, making it user-friendly for the thousands of students in different geographies

  Controlling smartphone: One of the biggest challenges with touchscreen smartphones is typing and navigation. BrailleMe can connect to smartphones via Bluetooth and through BrailleMe user can navigate the entire smartphone. They can also type using the Braille Me's keypad.

  Using it with computersv  Portable: carry this device in a small bag wherever they go. With a long-lasting battery, it is suitable for rural and urban. 

BrailleMe has also been recognized for its technological superiority and utility for promoting Braille literacy globally

v  Touch of Genius Prize awarded by National Braille Press USA for revolutionary Braille focused innovation - awarded at CSUN 2018 at San Diego competing with 13 innovations from 3 countries 

v  ASME Hardware ISHOW Best Hardware Innovation - recognized as best hardware social innovations (1 in 9) globally by American Society for Mechanical Engineers at ASME ISHOW in New York in 2017. 

v  UNESCO  among top 10 globally for King Hamad Bin Isa Al-Khalifa Prize for the Use of ICTs in Education for engaging on path of innovation and strengthening access, equity, inclusion, quality and learning outcomes in education


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