There are no limits to what one can do with the latest smartphones that feature fascinating technologies and exciting functions. For all those willing to experiment, a smartphone may act as the most convenient mobile office or a superb camera with numerous functions and even a media and designing tool.
While we were enjoying our hi-tech toys, someone was giving significant thought to mobile usage for the visually impaired. Mr. Sumit Dagar, 2011 TED Fellow decided to play along an idea for an efficient solution to make smart-phones usable for those who were not really the audiences for most global smart-phone manufacturers.
Working in collaboration with IIT Delhi, Mr. Dagar has developed a smart-phone specifically designed for people with visual impairment. The screen of the smartphone features a grid of pins which forms Braille shapes and characters for the user to read text messages and e-mails.
Although applications such as Siri, Say Text and Google Now enable users to operate some functions of the smart-phones with voice commands, they didn’t really offer any real solution to the visually impaired.
The Braille smart-phone, as described by Mr. Dagar, uses the Shape Memory Alloy technology through which the pins expand and contracts back to its original flat shape. The phone is currently being tested at the LV Prasad Eye Institute and is expected to be released by the end of 2013.