To spread devices with Braille displays prevents several problems, including:
– it is expensive
– The price for the Braille displays varies in the range of $ 1000 to $ 5000.
– This is cumbersome
There are various versions of Braille displays. Conditionally, we can distinguish stationary and portable displays. First is marked by its cumbersome. The figure shows a stationary braille display, which can be connected to a computer via USB:
Fixed USB Braille display
Shown in Figure display with simultaneous output of 40 characters has mass and dimensions following characteristics:
– Length: 438 mm
– Width: 249 mm
– Height: 39 mm
– Weight: 1.5 kg
It should be noted that portable displays have significantly smaller size and weight. This is achieved by reducing the number of characters that are displayed simultaneously, which in turn reduces usability. The cost of these devices can not only reach, but exceed the value of fixed counterparts.
Portable Braille display with keyboard
The figure shows a portable Braille display with the ability to enter text in Braille font.
The massive and dimensional characteristics of this device are:
– Length: 150 mm
– Width: 95 mm
– Height: 27 mm
– Weight: 0.2 kg
What has been done in the laboratory of Braille device
At this stage, we have a test analogue of display to Braiile’s one, that is able to display one character. Also has three control buttons: “the next character” “previous character”, “auto switching” that allow you to control the output of characters on display.
Test instance for one segment of Braille display.
Symbol is formed of dots through electromechanical elements. The figure shows a symbol that is formed on the test specimen. Electromechanical part of the device can be realized in different cell types. These elements can be crystals, electromagnets, solenoids. There is also the possibility of using combined solutions. Thus, using electric motors in conjunction with the mechanics, you can display Braille, not concede that displays the characteristics of other elements.
Test display, which is printed in Braille character.
In developing the experimental instance of display was used electromagnets. There are a number of reasons:
– Low price
– Speed of reaction element
In this case, the formation of character occurs due to raising and lowering of tactile dots withthrough electromagnets.
At the current stage of development control unit and input-output unit divided into two separate devices, but function as one. This decision was taken to ease development test instance.
Display and control unit.
Control unit contains a microcontroller, with firmware and driver display. Control unit connects to the computer using the USB – interface.
A USB interface controller transmitted packets of characters that should display. Also, the controller can send computer messages pressing control buttons, such as “the next character” “previous character”, “auto switching”. With the increased number of characters on the display provides the ability to add additional keys that simplify the work with the device.
A program that performs the following functions:
– Opens text files, adds the official symbols. In braille no division between large and small letters, and before each number included special character. All this taken into account when converting plain text.
– Use any alphabets. After recording a file alphabet characters and service in a special way may use the selected alphabet. Currently supported Cyrillic and Latin.
– Provides package forming characters for transmission braille. In addition to character codes converted according to alphabet characters transmitted in a package that can vary, depending on the length of the line in the display, use, and control the amount necessary to ensure integrity of packet transmission.
– Displaying Your current letters as usual in alpha form, and as Braille dots. This is useful for teachers that will teach visually impaired.
– The automatic turning. Allows you to automatically move to the next batch of characters, with a specified frequency.
– Getting feedback from the device. Already supported by three teams: the following symbols convey, transfer previous characters, activate / deactivate the automatic flip.
At this stage of development testing is performed on the one-character Braille display that was developed by the inability to get a real device. That is, use the program to study can now b>. The program interface is shown in Figure.
Interface-date version p>
Scheduled Update strong> p>
Program strong> p>
It is planned to use the program in classrooms where each student will have its own display for reading and teacher – personal computer with installed program.
To successfully use the software for educational purposes, described the plan, you must add the following functionality:
– Ability to work with multiple output devices. Given the simplification of hardware for the training class is not necessary to allocate a separate computer for each braille.
– Client-server architecture. It is necessary to allow the program to connect to the server using a network connection. This feature allows the teacher to work with the textbook on the server, eliminating the option when students do not have a specific file or not all have the latest versions.
– Wide range of formats books. Currently used only file format .txt. At a minimum, add support for these common formats: .doc, .docx, .rtf, .pdf, .fb2.
– Voice support. We know that duplicated voice information is absorbed quickly. To improve the effectiveness of training is a mandatory feature.
– Support for existing Braille displays that are available on the Ukrainian market. Unlike closed source programs that work with a limited number of devices is desirable to maintain as many models displays.
– Individual / collective modes. Given the maximum convenience for the end user, be possible to study in a classroom with a teacher and personal use at home, where there is no server and using only one device.
– Support for wireless data transmission technologies. For added ease of use, braille display modules can be equipped with Bluetooth or WiFi.
– Work on different operating systems. In addition to Windows, which is able to work program, as required UNIX-like systems (Linux, MacOS, other).
– Support entering special characters from the keyboard, adjust the text.
The ultimate goal is a stationary device that will reflect 15-40 characters in Braille, this device should be available for most blind people so its value should range from 100 to 350 dollars depending on configuration and feature set that he laid.
Predicted next functions:
– Ability to connect wirelessly to a computer. When using the displays of small size, a length of about 15 characters, it becomes urgent problem of mobility. Even the small display can not be called mobile if it is chained to the computer wires. If wireless interface such as Bluetooth or Wi-Fi connection becomes possible to display signage to mobile devices (laptops, smartphones, tablets);
– Presence speaker for audio information. Since the interface can be quite difficult then to complete the interaction with the computer blind person required sound. In this case, for convenience and compactness speakers can be integrated into the display itself.
– Support for advanced braille. Extended font commonly used when displaying symbols it allows to encode additional characters or specify their additional properties, such as superscript or subscript text feature numbers and so on. Advanced Braille symbols used to display UNICODE, and the usual ASCII characters to display.
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