Louie - A content creation platform for audio-braille content over refreshable braille displays
All of the advancements in education technology that has happened over the last 3 decades has been completely out of reach for the visually impaired society and this has brought about an unprecedented need to bridge the gap for them by making interactive educational content available. While there are braille display devices that are available in the market which boast state of the art technology, there is a huge unmet requirement of educational content. Visually impaired people have to make do with PDFs that can be read on braille devices but do not have access to MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses like Coursera, etc) and custom made audio-braille content. In today’s scenario, there are refreshable braille displays already available in the market and another set of new age affordable braille displays coming up in the next 1-2 years. These devices are already in wide circulation and use but their use cases are limited to PDFs and websites. There is so much more that can be done with these devices to increase the quality and efficiency of content that is consumed on them.
There are a diverse set of content creators, be it academicians, special educators, hobbyists, passionate experts, students or other learned people who are looking for the right channel to spread the knowledge that they have acquired over the years. This may be in any topic under the sun - from STEM subjects to arts, commerce and business.
We plan to bring this supply and demand together with a technology solution. We propose a content creation platform (mobile and web) that makes it very simple to create audio-braille content even without the knowledge of braille. This platform will link passionate subject matter experts to the visually impaired community through braille. An intuitive drag and drop functionality will make it trivial for content creators to make audio and textual content that can be exported in braille and delivered on any braille display devices via the internet.
Our solution will fit right in the status quo as we it doesn’t require an infrastructure change. Classes in mainstream education which has become inclusive will become easier as the class teacher can now convert his/her content for the day into braille for their visually impaired kids. The amount and quality of custom built interactive content for the VI will go up there by assisting in their education worldwide. Content creators will be introduced to a new channel through which not only can they spread their knowledge but also make an earning on the service provided.
'Louie' is affectionately named after Louis Braille who is the first person we can think of when we talk about levelling the playing field for the VI.
Thinkerbell Labs currently has two products in the pipeline - Annie (braille teaching device) and Louie (audio-braille content creation platform).