Here s another example of technological excellence for a social cause- a smartphone for visual impaired persons and that too invented by an Indian.
It is no more just taking calls and answering them but whole lot of functions including the one that enable the blinds to read and send the texts based on Braille system developed long time back. But its digital version is something that can revolutionize this pattern.
The device developed by Sumit Dagar whose company located in IIM Ahmedabad campus has a touch screen which can elevate and depress the contents allowing such persons to read and send texts.
Dagar who is post-graduate from the National institute of Design has joined hands with IIT Delhi to come out with the first Braille version of smartphone which could be a boon to millions of blinds. Given the fact that a mobile phone has become a necessity, Dagar is sanguine about immense response it would get.
Interestingly, it has come on the heels of the Chrome OS which supports a high-quality text-to-speech voice (starting with U.S. English) which could be immense benefit to the visually impaired people.
The latest stable version of Chrome, released recently, includes support for the Web Search API, which developers can use to integrate speech recognition capabilities into their apps. At CSUN, our friends from Bookshare demonstrated how they use this new functionality to deliver ReadNow, a fully integrated ebook reader for users with print disabilities.
Google has also released a new Help Center Guide specifically for blind and low-vision users to ease the transition to using Google Apps.
It added Braille support to Android 4.1; since then, Braille support has been expanded on Google Drive for Android, making it easier to read and edit your documents. You can also use Talkback with Docs and Sheets to edit on the go.
With Gesture Mode in Android 4.1, one can reliably navigate the UI using touch and swipe gestures in combination with speech output.