Reachers at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi, along with KritiKal Solutions Pvt Ltd., Pheonix Medical Systems Pvt. Ltd. and Saksham Trust New Delhi, unveiled ‘DotBook’ the previous day, for accessing the digital content for visually impaired. This Braille idealised Laptop ‘DotBook,’ aims at creating independent access to digital content for the visually impaired. Apparently, a 40 cell Refreshable Braille Devices costs on an average US $2500, that demands high-income of users that is not possible for country like India to pursue or target.
IIT Delhi’s patented Shape Memory Alloy Technology lends the hand in formulating this high-value down by almost 60% while developing DotBook. This has helped India for making this solution accessible to the millions of people who were previously not able to follow this amazing device for good. Therefore, this becomes very essential role in the nation providing low income countries, a contribution to over 90% of the visually impaired population worldwide. Titled as “India’s first Braille Laptop,” DotBook would also help clear the issues related to social inclusion and developing and making equal opportunities for the visually impaired in education and employment.
The stepping development work of Braille cells was supported by Department of Science & Technology (DST) under its TIDE programme. The major translational funding for taking the device from Proof of Concept (POC) to market ready product came from Wellcome Trust, UK. The DotBook is slated to be open for bookings from the month of March this year and the deliveries of the product would begin later this year, after a series of trials with different VI users across India, and subsequent advancements in the design. The briefly-formed features of DotBook include email, calculator, web browser and like other laptop it pops-up with a QWERTY keyboard.
Furthermore, it also allows integration with 3rd party apps. DotBook is a result of special custom development that is based on multiple-user trials with a lot of minor needs and preferences that are watched over, based on the feedback of the users. Marking the feature shows, the hand-rest has also been efficiently designed and developed for enabling lengthy hours of use through the day (6-8 hour work shifts). The DotBook will be manufactured, maintained and marketed by Noida-based Kritikal Solutions, keeping a fact in bold, that the 10-cell Refreshable Braille Cell modules, will be manufactured, maintained and marketed by Phoenix Medical Systems, Chennai. DotBook will be launched in two variants:
DotBook 20P: 20-Cell Braille Variant with Perkins Keys
DotBook 40Q: 40-Cell Braille Variant with QWERTY Keyboard
M. Balakrishnan, Professor at IIT-Delhi who led the project claimed, “DotBook represents an excellent example of user-oriented applied research. It is not only inter-disciplinary in nature as it brings together advanced techniques in mechanical, low-power electronics, software and UI design together, is also a result of sustained efforts over the four years of a multi-organisational team comprising academics, two industry partners and a user organisation. The product will be manufactured, maintained and marketed by a Noida-based company while its key component, that is the 10-cell refreshable Braille cell modules, will be manufactured, maintained and marketed by a company based in Chennai.”