Four students from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras have come together to develop a handy device for the visually impaired. Their innovation is expected to help many who are suffering from any form of visual impairment.
The assistive device fits into the port of a smartphone and can help them to type, learn and read braille content. It also allows them to self-navigate through space and recognise people and objects.
Four students- Sundar Raman P, Adil Mohammed K., Shivam Maheshwari and Andrea Elizabeth Biju, from the institute, came forward together to develop the device. Sundar is a final-year of electrical engineering student while Adil and Shivam are pursuing second and third-year engineering design, respectively. Andrea is a second-year student of aerospace engineering.
These group of students improvised on an earlier existing product that allows the visually impaired to read PDF files on their phone. Sundar said the main aim was to maximise the smartphone's capability, as most people carry one today.
The team came up with Cube, a compact device that fits into the smartphone's charging port or earphone jack. It includes four refreshable braille cells (24 dots) on one side and a camera on the other.
The camera on the device, along with the smartphone's camera, is used to capture and process (computer vision) a wide field of view to provide the user navigation information through tactile braille cells about the proximity and nature of the obstacles
As per The Hindu, The refreshable braille cells project symbols help in learning and typing on the smartphone in braille.
At present, the visually impaired rely on slow audio feedback to type. The assistive device can be folded to the back of the phone using a flexible connector.