menu

Moldable Alloy Will Make Braille Smartphone A Reality

Moldable Alloy Will Make Braille Smartphone A Reality
Design

New interface on prototype can help the blind text plus use everyday tools like maps.

Ryan Gerhardt
  • 29 april 2013

Some objectives that come to mind when discussing the purpose of technology are making life easier, making information more accessible, and making society more inclusive.

Presenting the world’s first Braille smartphone: Designed by Sumit Dagar, a 2011 TED Fellow and a graduate of the National Institute of Design in India, the new touch screen smartphone is being created specifically for people who are visually impaired. Yet unnamed, the phone is the culmination of three years of work by Dagar and his team, which is currently collaborating with IIT Delhi on a prototype.

The ‘Braille smartphone’ works with the assistance of shape-memory alloy technology. Shape-memory alloy is a metal that can return to its original shape after being deformed, which allows it to expand and contract to form bumps and ridges. The screen for the phone will be made with a grid of pins that can move up and down, manipulating the alloy, creating shapes and Braille characters – returning to its original state when done.

Braille-scan

While current voice recognition operations like Siri offer considerable assistance for visually and otherwise impaired users, this new smartphone goes above and beyond. Users will be able to not only send and receive text messages with a changing Braille keypad, but also check everyday tools like maps. Most remarkably, the phone will be designed to scan other objects, including text and photos, and then convert those scans into readable Braille or other recognizable shapes.

Currently being tested at the LV Prasad Eye Institute, the phone is expected to be released by the end of 2013 (thanks in part to a grant from the Rolex Awards for Enterprise, which sped up the process). The phone is expected to cost roughly $185.

You can check out Dagar’s TED Talk on the topic below.

Sumit Dagar

Design
Trending

DIY Kit Lets You Build Your Own Wooden Bike, Boat Or Caravan

Design & Architecture
Culture Yesterday

Messaging Add-On Helps You Correct Your Friends’ Bad Grammar

An iMessage sticker pack will help you copyedit text messages

Automotive Yesterday

Mercedes-Benz Introduces A New Electric Mobility Brand

The separate entity aims to simplify the identification of Mercedes EV products to customers

Trending

Get PSFK's Related Report: Future of Automotive

See All
Mobile Yesterday

Tinder’s New Feature Makes Swiping A Group Effort

The dating app wants to democratize its gestural interaction by buying in to the social polling trend pervasive among millennials

Related Expert

Sabrina Caluori

Television, Social Media, Marketing

Syndicated Yesterday

Autonomous Garbage Drone Prevents Trash From Reaching Deep Ocean

The solar-powered WasteShark collects refuse closer to the source: the harbor

Automotive Yesterday

Aston Martin Reveals Its Own Luxury Powerboat

The sleek AM37 echoes styling elements from the British brand's sports cars

Advertising Yesterday

An Escort Website Fights Violence Against Sex Workers

The advocacy campaign from McCann aims uncover the human toll of the exploitative industry

PSFK LABS REPORT

Future Of Automotive
Scenarios Driving The Digital Transformation Of An Industry
NEW

PSFK Op-Ed september 28, 2016

Energy Expert: How American Consumers Are Taking Control Of Their Power Use

Jennifer Tuohy, green tech expert at The Home Depot, discusses green home technologies and developments for renewable technologies in US homes

PSFK Labs september 29, 2016

The 10 Steps To Discover, Hire, Develop Your Next Leader

PSFK's Future of Work report outlines key steps in the employee development path to empower next-gen leaders

Culture Yesterday

LIFE Magazine Relaunches In Pure VR

The general interest periodical, which ceased publication in 2000, has turned into a portal for virtual reality content

Mobile Yesterday

Reorder This Detox Drink With A Simple Text Message

Dirty Lemon is streamlining its communication by letting customers place orders, ask product questions and request help exclusively through chat

Op-Ed Yesterday

The Future Of The American Workforce Requires Unbundling College Education

President of JetBlue Technology Ventures: developing corporate education programs for non-traditional students

Retail Yesterday

Gilt’s Pop-Up House Is The Kind Of Store You’ll Want To Live In

The New York City townhouse plays host to the latest in retail inspiration, curation, and lifestyle activation (and some libations, too)

PSFK LABS REPORT

Future Of Work
Cultivating The Next Generation Of Leaders
NEW

Mobile Yesterday

Registering To Vote Is Now Just A Text Away

A new bot aims to mobilize underrepresented groups this election season through SMS and Facebook Messenger

Africa Yesterday

Virtual Reality Game Gives Lessons About Emergency Birth Care

LIFE is a serious tool that takes advantage of new technology to help save lives

Luxury Yesterday

Shoe Repair Has Moved Onto Your Phone

Cobbler Concierge is an on-demand service to get your footwear fixed online

No search results found.