A new reading machine from Vietnam for blind people is all set to reach India
October 31, 2018
A chance encounter with a close friend led Nguyen Thanh Trung, a college student in Vietnam, to start working on an exclusive reading machine for blind people. When Trung found that his friend, despite excellent reading skills, was not able to get access to books for the blind, he decided to do something about it.
Now, Trung's device, which does not have a name as yet, has come all the way to India. At the recently held International Exhibition for Young Inventors, he was welcomed with open arms by organizers and participants.
The device is in the size of an iPad and is made out of plastic. So, what makes it so special? The upper surface of the machine is designed like a keyboard with raised dots to help blind people read the text. The reading machine of the device will help access printed materials and scanning texts, which will be converted into Braille.
Trung has made the device in a simple manner because he does not want to over-charge his blind customers. There are already many Braille equipments in Vietnam and other parts of the world which are priced at lakhs of rupees. What makes his device unique is that it is not expensive and can be purchased by the common man!
However, in a country where many people don't know Braille, just how popular will it be? Besides with many audiobooks and other technologies in the market, the device may find limited sale.
Maitreya Shah, a blind law student and disability rights activist says his chances of buying the device are pretty low.
Personally, I do not know how to read Braille. Since this device works with the help of Braille, I don't think I will use it. We live in a world where technology is available at your fingertip. There are many mobile apps that are available for blind users. We even have Microsoft's Seeing AI App that has multiple features and is free of cost! New mobile apps for blind people are being introduced every now and then. I would rather use something that is updated with latest technology and something that I can access anytime. My mobile phone is always there with me. So accessing apps is not a tough task.- Maitreya Shah, Law student
However, Trung, who faced many roadblocks while creating this device and has won awards for it, says the device will help blind people from economically backward families.
Tony Kurian, a blind student at IIT-Mumbai, believes the device will change the lives of many blind people.
"We are heavily dependent on technology, mainly computers. So this new device that scans books and converts them to Braille is going to be something different. What makes it even more unique is that it is priced low. Hence, people from different walks of life can buy this. Most of the Braille devices are quite expensive. I use a similar Braille device named BrailleMe that was created by a student from my college. It is handy and has helped me a lot", says Kurian.
Clearly mixed reactions coming from the visually impaired community in India. But it is encouraging and interesting that young people are looking at developing accessible technologies for people with disabilities.
Watch in Sign Language
- #TechThursdays - Augmenta11y, an app developed by students, helps children with dyslexia read better
May 23, 2019
- Reserve Bank of India suggests app to help visually impaired people identify rupee notes
May 15, 2019
- Google's Android Q to introduce Live Captions and Subtitles to all types of content
May 14, 2019
Read more on Newz Hook
- Get-hooked May 21, 2019 From working for underprivileged kids to disability rights advocacy, Diksha wears many hats
- Get-hooked May 18, 2019 Parenting Corner - Feeling Guilty
- Get-hooked May 21, 2019 'We have only one life, so live it to the fullest' - My Take by Krishnakumar PS
- Headlines May 21, 2019 Athlete Dutee Chand faces family expulsion for saying she is gay
- Headlines May 22, 2019 PM Modi pays tribute to Rajiv Gandhi on death anniversary
- Headlines May 19, 2019 Seventh & final phase of voting in general elections today
- Events May 17, 2019 Multiple Sclerosis - Invisible Symptoms
- Headlines May 22, 2019 Clean chit for Mulayam Singh & son in corruption case
- Headlines May 17, 2019 Sadhvi Pragya apologizes for Godse comments
- Get-hooked May 20, 2019 These friends banded together in the aftermath of the Kerala floods to help people with disabilities
Want to feature your inspiring story or share an event with the disabled community? Write to:
Newz Hook - Accessible News