Maastricht Economic and social Research and  training centre on Innovation and Technology

 
I&T Weekly holiday break
I&T Weekly is taking a holiday break. We will be back on Friday, January 12, 2018 with a fresh selection of innovation and technology news. On behalf of the entire UNU-MERIT team, we wish our readers an excellent 2018!




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All headlines
  • France announces landmark ban on fossil fuel production
  • Extreme laser bursts may lead to practical nuclear fusion
  • Gene editing staves off deafness in mice
  • Integrated circuits could make quantum computers scalable
  • 'Water cloak' uses electromagnetic waves to eliminate turbulence
  • Cold cigarette lighter will power satellite
  • Portable translator converts text to braille in real-time
    Students at MIT have designed a portable device that converts text to braille in real-time. Their first prototype was created in a 15-hour hackathon in early 2016. Since that time, the device, called Tactile, has undergone extensive development. Now, it's the size of a candy bar and completely portable. The students have applied for a patent for the device, although they are already working on its next iteration.

    What really sets Tactile apart from other braille translators, though, is its low cost. Most of these devices are expensive, and limited to the translation of text that is available digitally. For example, the HumanWare Braillant attaches to a computer or mobile device to translate text into braille, and it costs USD 2,595. Tactile's creators hope to sell their device for less than USD 200.

    The students have plans to improve Tactile. If they're successful, this would make the device simpler to use and eliminate the reader's need to remember where they are on the page.

    Tactile, which should be on the market within two years, will make any book in any library accessible to those who do understand braille - and it will also make braille itself far more accessible and easy to learn.

    Science Alert     May 19, 2017