Long time since I wrote anything on my blog. Its been a hectic schedule here , although things have eased out after subscribing to an internet connection in the room. Elections are coming , so please vote. Its really very crucial that the youth have a say in the immediate future of our country.
Parithi n me were thinking of something for the ECell Ideas Challenge. Its a competition wherein you present a techy and sellable idea.
One of the ideas we submitted was a braille browser. Essentially a browser for the blind.
The Government is putting in a lot of effort in converting texts to braille. It is time consuming and costly too. We thought of designing a interface over which the blind could access the information on the internet.It provides them with endless opportunities in exploring the World Wide Web.
The display would be in braille.
Is it really practical ????
What we need is a touch screen interface that would dynamically change the indentations on the surface.The next part is about decoding the information on any website. Consider Wikipedia. Removing the unnecessary images like its logo and background the necessary information can be easily decoded by using a suitable standard and further sending the appropriate signals to the microcontrollers on the tablet . It would just be like live feed or feeds that we get in say Google Reader.
The touch screen interface is the tough part. What we need is a material that changes its characteristics dynamically thus enabling us to feel the indentations on its surface. Also , its characteristics should be modifiable by applying suitable electric or magnetic fields .
We have thought of using ferro-magnetic materials for the same. But the idea isnt tried or tested . Neither do we have any clue on how ferromagnetic materials would feel like .
If you have any material in sight which would do such a thing or if you have any other way of approaching this problem leave a comment on this blog or write to me at balkrishnanitt [at] gmail.com .