This is a Guest Post From My Friend Hariharan, We Were Friends From School Days, He Completed His BE in Panimalar Engineering College affiliated to Anna University, Chennai and Currently Pursuing his MS-EE in USC
This Article is about His Product i-Bran Electronic Braille Enterprise Developed for Visually Impaired ones.. Check it out and Drop Your Comments!!
i-Bran proposes an entirely new idea (worldwide), a conceptual arrangement of pins as depicted by the Braille system, providing a virtual textbook for the visually impaired ones.
Several PC-Braille interfaces are available but none practical enough to reach the deserving ones. I-Bran is the result of what started as a practical PC interface but later went on to become an enterprise with several features incorporated in it (as a result of various discussions with a Blind school). Every single aspect of the device was designed as per the constraints expressed by the students of a Blind School. This helped i-bran to be very feasible and usable.
CD-ROMs with the contents of any book in the form of text files can be directly used with i-Bran and the user will get an output in Braille format, with which the visually impaired user can read the book, as and when he desires. A processor reads the contents through a CD-ROM drive and as per the programmed logic, it raises the corresponding pins to provide the Braille characters.
[Interfacing the device with a PC using a wireless protocol will enable the blind school teacher to teach the students more reliably as each student will possess an i-bran and the entire class shall be linked to a single PC, controlled by the teacher.]
Firstly, this idea eliminates any sort of inferior feeling that the blind children will have when compared with their normal computer using counterparts. Secondly, to use this method, they are not pushed to learn any new technique but just a rehash of what they know about Braille. The dedicated controller can provide options for going back few words or pause in between, just what describes the term user-friendly.
We associated ourselves with the Little Flower Convent higher Secondary School, Chennai (A School for the Blind and Deaf) and discussed with the Head-Mistress Sister Madonna and few students studying there for each and every step, regarding the hardware (pins arrangement, etc) and included every single constraint of theirs while designing the i-Bran.
The i-Bran device is a first of its kind and will be released worldwide in less than a month with a grand Press Meet. The entire concept of i-Bran, as explained in previous page, will be a great boon for them (a fact that was disclosed by the Head-Mistress while discussing regarding i-bran) in that it enables them to read books that are not available in Braille sheets (anywhere they want), introduce a concept of reading-a-page-of-a-novel-before-bedtime which is alien to them till this moment.
SUMMARY OF FEATURES
- CD ROM containing text files of any book shall be used directly and output will be fed into the Braille cells (a relay coil-pins arrangement)
- A numeric keyboard (keyboard with the number keypad) enables the user to choose the desired file to be opened
- Two modes of operation: Normal mode & Scrolling mode (Braille text scrolls beneath the fingers => no movement of the hand is needed)
- A speed adjustment knob allows the user to adjust the speed of scrolling of the text through an ADC interfaced with the controller
- New specifically designed Braille structure that incorporates every feature of actual Braille in the most rigid and feasible manner without compromising on the strength of it.
- Coils are specifically designed after analyzing several trial pieces to provide the desired magnetic torque at the lowest possible power consumption, which lessens the heat emission.
*For videos of i-Bran being tested in Blind School and updates regarding Press meet, check out my website: http://hariharan-subramanian.co.nr