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Toward a ’free’ braille device?

Speaker(s) : Mario Lang
Language : English Level : Confirmed Nature : Conference
Date : Wednesday 7 July 2010 Schedule : 11h00 Duration : 40 minutes
Place: ENSEIRB - Amphi E
Transversal topics: AccessibilityIn english

A major cost factor of braille displays has always been resellers and established distribution channels. The basic components of a braille display (the piezzomechanics) are available in bulk quantities, ready made, waiting to be connected to the outside world.

Our plan is to apply the principles of "open hardware" to a design which makes a fully functional braille display starting from the basic piezzoelements. The design should use easily available components wherever possible such that an electronicly gifted geek could build the braille display just about anywhere on the planet, given a bunch of piezzo elements. A microprocessor (like an Atmel) will implement the communication protocol. It should support modern interconnects like USB and possibly Bluetooth. The firmware will be free software as well, allowing the user to modify the firmware and reflash it from their PC. Such a design could be a good alternative for countries with social systems which do currently not fully finance braille displays for blind citizens. And it should be fun to design and build.

Video

http://free-electrons.com/pub/video/2010/rmll/rmll2010-lang-free-braille-device.ogv

Mario Lang

I am visually impaired since birth and blind since I was 7 years old. At daytime I am a Linux specialist at Graz University of Technology. In my spare time I am a Debian Developer, mostly involved in Accessibility related topics.

Presentation Slides

http://delysid.org/rmll2010/braille.html

Project Wiki

[http://brl.thefreecat.org/wiki/Free…]