About the solution
Alex Johnson and Jonathon Walker are students at Rutheford High School, in Florida. They have developed a device for the visually impaired that can turn text into braille, and vice versa.
There are already some devices on the market that preform similar functions but they are very expensive and so, their main goal is to produce a product that is affordable and attainable to everyone. “Refreshable Braille Displays on the market today range from $500 to $3,000 and that is super expensive. There are a ton of people who are not financially stable that need devices like this to interact with the outside world”, Jonathan explained.
They have worked on several prototypes, continually improving their device. They presented the first working prototype at a science fair in Pensacola and won first place, which gave them motivation to keep working on their product and improve according to the criticism and suggestions they received at the fair. Since then, the yhave worked on making the device smaller, so it can be easily carried around everywhere.
The device has two different function. On one side, there are moveable pins that mimic the raised dots of the Braille system. The device is able to receive text from a computer and raise the pins to make out the different letters, so the reader can pass the finger through the device and feel the raises pins to read.
On the other side, there are also raised pins that are meant to be pressed so the user can use the pins to write in Braille, and the device translates the braille to regular alphabet.
The students have submitted their last prototype to the national Invention Convention and were given the opportunity to receive a patent on their device. “It was surprising and then it went from shocked to excited”, Jonathan said in reaction to the news.
This solution shall not include mention to the use of drugs, chemicals or biologicals (including food); invasive devices; offensive, commercial or inherently dangerous content. This solution was not medically validated. Proceed with caution! If you have any doubts, please consult with a health professional.
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