Dedicated to Improving the Lives of Blind and Visually Impaired People

More Technology Innovations Exhibited at Assistive Technology Conference

by Jaime Rodriguez, RDPFS Intern

The 37th Annual CSUN Assistive Technology Conference, which took place two weeks ago, explored all aspects of assistive technology, as reported in last week’s Bulletin. More than 250 educational sessions and workshops focused on the assistive technologies that exist and are being developed for people with disabilities. This week we are chronicling two companies that showcased products which may be helpful to people with visual impairments:

4Blind, an engineering company in Boston, Massachusetts, featured three products:

Braille PAD, an 8-inch device with an integrated camera, provides a massive jump in tactile access to graphic images, maps, geometric figures, and diagrams. Its 1,850 tactile pixels replicate images in accurate detail. It works independently of other devices, but is also capable of utilizing files on an inserted USB or SD Card. The Braille PAD also reads text in braille. It is currently available for purchase for $2,390.

HaptiBraille Communicator, designed for people who are deaf-blind, can speak in a synthesized voice, hear a speaker, and translate what it hears into braille. This device breaks down barriers in communication and allows anyone who uses it to communicate between spoken dialogue and braille, also making private and confidential communication possible when needed. The HaptiBraille Communicator is available for purchase for $599 or for $25 a month via a subscription.

The Talking Charger, a smart charging device, works with any gadget with a USB style charger. It can tell the user if an electrical socket is working, when their device is charging, the state of charge of the device, and even if someone removes their device from charging. The Talking Charger also employs sound, light, and vibration notifications to assist a wide variety of users. It is available for purchase for $89. For more information or to purchase any of these products, check out the 4Blind website, here.

OHFA Tech, Inc., an IT Services and Consulting company from Seoul, South Korea, highlighted their upgraded Taptilo 4.0 device, now in development. A lightweight, portable braille display, Taptilo, in combination with jumbo-sized braille blocks, and tactile and audio guidance, can help braille beginners learn braille patterns independently using pre-made curricula. Taptilo 4.0 also allows for remote education. Teachers may use the Taptilo 4.0 with the Taptile app to provide customized lesson plans to students. Braille learners can set their own pace with customized learning experiences, and even create customized word lists for names of people, places, and things they interact with regularly. It is currently available in English, Korean, Arabic, Spanish, German, and Portuguese, and is nearing release. For more information or to be notified of the Taptilo 4.0 release, check out the Taptilo website, here.