An Indian designer, Sumi Dagar, is developing a smartphone that can be used by people who are blind or have low vision.
Mr Dagar’s prototype Braille smartphone is expected to be ready by the end of February and the first model could be on the market within a year.
“The basic handset I am working on now has words and numbers going up and down in Braille. So a user can touch them and recognise or locate numbers and names,” said Mr Dagar. The screen is covered in pins that can rise up from its surface to form Braille words and numbers.
Mr Dagar is working with a four-member team comprising individuals from the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, New York University in the USA, India’s National Institute of Design and the LV Prasad Eye Institute (LVPEI) in India. His partners in the five-year project, which started in 2009, are the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi and the LVPEI. He says that several other research institutions have expressed interest in collaborating on the project.