Indian-origin boy working with Microsoft for Braille Printer to launch in November

By: Gizbot Bureau

A 13-year-old Indian-origin boy, who invented a low-cost portable Braille printer, is now working with technology giant Microsoft to integrate it with Windows to make it easily accessible to the visually-impaired and plans to launch it commercially in November.

Indian-origin boy working with Microsoft for Braille Printer

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Shubham Banerjee, an eighth-grade student in Santa Clara, California was invited by Microsoft to showcase his Braigo 2.0 printer at a tech fair organised by the company here.

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"Our relationship with Microsoft will help Braigo achieve a seamless experience for a visually-impaired person who wants to use a computer at home or at the office to print documents for offline reading," Banerjee said in Microsoft blog post.

Indian-origin boy working with Microsoft for Braille Printer

"Participating in the fair and working with Microsoft has been an amazing experience and I am looking at ways to integrate the Windows technology with the printer as I prepare to launch it commercially by November this year," Banerjee told PTI.

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He is targeting a price point of 500 dollars or less for the printer to ensure affordability for organisations working for the visually-impaired in developing and least developed countries.

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The young student has started working with a Windows team to integrate Braigo drivers with Windows for easy deployment. "Also, think about the banks, the government institutions or even the libraries where Windows-based computers are widely used.

Indian-origin boy working with Microsoft for Braille Printer

They will all benefit from having a Braigo to provide accessibility services to their visually-impaired customers," Banerjee said. Banerjee is receiving rave reviews and valuable support from experts and prestigious companies for Braigo, which he had developed using Lego Mindstorms EV3, a robotics kit.

He came up with the idea of building the low-cost printer for the blind when he was working on a science fair project last year. He said he was shocked to learn that braille printers cost over 2,000 dollars.

With millions of visually-impaired people in the world, of whom 90 per cent live in developing countries, Banerjee decided to develop a printer that was low-cost and could be used easily.

Getting support from his father Neil, Banerjee worked on his product for nearly a month, at the same time focussing on his studies and other extra-curricular activities.

The consumer-focused braille printer, which uses new technology and an Intel Edison chip, is portable, silent and will be offered at a price point well below currently available products for the visually impaired.

Source: PTI


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