4 engineers open up e-commerce to the blind

Four engineers from Bengaluru have developed a device that is opening up the world of e-commerce to the visually impaired.

They bring the content of a screen to their fingertips through braille. The device is called Sparsh and is powered by a Dynamic Braille Board, which is an electro-mechanical technology that reproduces the content of a smartphone or a computer on a rolling display in braille.

Once it is switched on, a blind student can connect to it with an audio-jack and browse the files. The machine reads out the filenames or they can also use the braille display to read and the select the files.

The device will route them through a special portal that will convert the screen text into braille in real-time and read it out so the user can select the product at the press of a tab on the device and then go on to payment process.

Similar gadgets are available in western countries but the cost of the dBB is just Rs 5,000-Rs 6,000. A similar device in the US costs about Rs 1.28 lakh.

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