A concept smartphone for Visually Impaired

Out of all senses, vision is the one that pulls most empathy from the world.

That’s why those who are blessed with the power to see the colors around; always wish to help those without it, to convey what the vibrance of the world feels like.

Hence, with smartphones being proliferated to every corner possible; it’s obvious that a smartphone for visually impaired would be somewhere down the line.

In the recent TED 2011, one such concept smartphone that could bring a easy to use smartphone to visually impaired is presented by Sumit Dagar. In a brief video presentation, Dagar explains how a Braille concept phone could be just as functional for the visually impaired as a standard smartphone is for me and you.

Although still a concept OR idea, Dagar’s smartphone is extending smartphone apps that exist today into a braille phone for tomorrow. The concept phone uses the integrated camera to scan standard text and then translate it to braille on a tactile screen (tactile means: Of or connected with the sense of touch OR Perceptible by touch or apparently so). A technology much similar to that used in Word Lens and Google Goggles. Word Lens immediately translates words into different languages on devices. Google Goggles sends a picture to the cloud for translation over a wireless connection. Dagar’s concept phone for blind, takes the idea beyond text; a picture taken with the handset will generate the image of anything via tactile outlines on the screen. Check out the Dagar’s presentation:

Notably, the good intentions of the world have not matched with the real advancement when it comes to smart devises for visually impaired. But there are some praise worthy efforts though. On interesting and promising technology is the BrailleNote PK, a device that can connect wirelessly to a mobile phone and display information in Braille across a tactile area. Another one, which appears more revolutionary, as in it even a screen itself may not be needed, is the Thimble concept. This uses a wearable device that transmits data in Braille to a single finger and could supplement a smartphone screen. But the thimble concept is limited to text only. A demo of Thimble Tech:

Thimble - There's a Thing for That from two times three on Vimeo.

Dagar's concept takes on, not only text but images too; hence it'll be interesting to see how the concept evolves. --------

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