Inspiration

Many people know the saying that knowledge is power, and the key access to knowledge is through books. However, there are 285 million visually impaired people around the world, with 130,000 visually impaired people in the U.S. alone. Many visually impaired have to read through Braille texts or listen to audio files, and unfortunately less than 1% of all books are in Braille and less than 30% of all books have an audio version. In addition, Braille displays and embossers cost thousands of dollars, making them inaccessible to many of the visually impaired people living in developing countries. The mission of Tactile is to empower the visually impaired through education equality by enabling them to have the opportunity to access all printed texts.

What it does

Our innovation allows real-time conversion of printed text to Braille. Ultimately, a visually impaired person would use the portable scanner to scan the text from the spine of a book to the outer edge of the book. The scanner would transfer information to a refreshable Braille display wirelessly, and the visually impaired would be able to read the Braille text and repeat the same process to read the next page.

What we learned

Codes don’t work. Machines disappoint. But it’s okay. You just gotta keep trying. Cuz your team’s got your back, YAY!

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