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Live Braille : Wearable Travel Aid For The Blind

Posted in Technology

Live Braille — mobility device can help a blind person navigate his way by sending haptic feedback or vibrations through the sense of touch.

The founder of Live Braille, Abhinav Verma, describes the product as “the only fully wearable ETA (Electronic Travel Aid) that allows you to simply swipe your hand in the air to know your environment in an instant, spot obstacles and walk much faster.”

Live Braille

Verma, a Mechanical Engineer by pedigree, has developed a one of its kind ‘human augmentation device’ for the blind, which is a smart and fresh take on the age old concept of carrying visual aids like a cane. Recalling his first steps, Verma tells us, “I had entered a competition at my university, Chitkara university, and the idea was to build something for the blind. Everybody was building smart canes and ultra canes, so I thought why not build something which completely eliminates the cane. That was the idea behind this whole technology. It took 2 years for us to develop it. The first thing that we built was a glove that a person could wear and it could sense obstacles in all directions and it would communicate that with haptic feedback. Then, we raised our investment with a single demo. In October we got funded, by December we had a finished product, which is this, the world’s smallest, lightest travel aid for the blind.”

Live Braille

Converting text books into braille is a challenging task and even more challenging is translating them into different languages. The next generation of the Live Braille Mini will be capable of storing audio books, with 32GB of storage. For the same, Verma’s startup is in talks with Governments from various countries, for simplifying the education process for the blind. So, the second-gen Live Braille Mini will also include a headphone jack, along with volume controls and a micro-SD card slot. The company is planning to sell locked units, without a micro-SD card slot in countries outside of India.

Live Braille

With Live Braille all set to brighten the future for the visually challenged, the most obvious question is that of the availability of the device. Currently, the Live Braille Mini retails for Rs. 5,999 in India.

Live Braille

Units of the same device also retail from anywhere around $380 to $1000 in Latin America and Canada. Verma tells us that his startup works with 6000 organisations for the blind, worldwide. He also tells us that the Live Braille Mini will soon be available on Indian ecommerce platform Flipkart.

As and when the demand for the product picks up further, Verma hopes to raise $2 Million to expand his business and grow his startup. Did I mention that Live Braille is assembled right here in India? Well, we hope Live Braille continues on its noble journey and that more such innovative, useful ideas emerge from India’s ballooning startup ecosystem.

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