Optegral : Developing a Specialized Glove for the Blinds to Read Any Type of Document Without Being Braille Printed
A large population cannot access to the vast field of literature and science because of the visual impairment and blindness. Globally the number of visually impaired people is estimated to be 285 million, of whom 39 million are totally blind. Since the blind people cannot read without braille, they cannot make use of all the resources available and consequently, cannot cope with the advancement of modern technology-based society.
Braille is a tactile writing system used by people who are visually impaired. It needs all the books to be re-written in a special braille language. It is a very difficult and certainly an expensive task to ensure the availability of all books in braille language. A study shows that 99.1% of people who have a visual impairment cannot read braille. This is because they lost their vision as adults. As they do not know how to use braille, they become more helpless and they require a great deal of time to master the knowledge of reading with braille.
But is there any way that can provide a real world cost effective reading solution for the blinds?
A specialized glove can be the answer of this question. In braille language all the alphabets and sentences are written by dots that provides unique sensations to finger tips. Our aim is to digitalize this whole process using a specialized glove. A phenomenal aspect of this device is that it can be used for the born blinds and also for those who have a visual impairment after adulthood by using two different modes.
There will be two functional units of the glove. The outer section will consist of a tiny IR based camera sensor that will functionally work as the eye of the patient and the inner section will be wrapped around the finger tips with piezoelectric based sensor or material.
There will be an algorithm based alignment detection system which is controlled a tiny MCU (Microcontroller Unit). It will notify the user (according to the spacing and the format of the text) if any rearrangement of finger tips is required or not for reading a particular document.
As the user will move their fingertips across the printed documents, the IR based camera sensor will continuously detect the text using the machine learning algorithms and convert the text into braille letters (for the born-blinds) or regular alphabets (for the non-born blinds) by deforming piezoelectric materials placed inside the glove.
We hope that our device will empower the blind by providing them access to a large arena of printed resources and improve their overall quality of life.
- Clinical need
- Ergonomic support
- Braille, IR based camera sensor, Piezoelectric material deformation, Alignment detection system, MCU (Microcontroller Unit)