A British firm plans to launch a Braille e-reader for blind folks this yr that ought to drastically improve their studying expertise and spare them from lugging round hefty print volumes.

Because it was developed by Louis Braille within the 19th Century, the alphabet of raised dots has introduced the enjoyment of studying to tens of millions of blind and partially-sighted folks.

However in its printed type it is not precisely handy or moveable: A Braille copy of the Bible can take up about 5 ft (1.5 metres) of shelf house.

British agency Bristol Braille Know-how hopes to alter this with Canute 360, their new ‘Kindle for the blind’ which it says is the world’s first multi-line Braille e-reader, displaying 9 strains of textual content at a time, or a couple of third of a web page of normal print.

“This implies you solely must press the ahead button each 360 characters slightly than each 20,” stated Stephanie Sergeant, whose firm Imaginative and prescient Via Sound supplies coaching for blind folks and has been working with Bristol Braille.

“It refreshes a line at a time, beginning on the prime. So regardless that it takes a short while for all of the strains to refresh, you can begin studying virtually as quickly as you press the ahead key.”

Any textual content that has been translated into Braille format may be downloaded into the Canute, probably placing an infinite provide of studying materials on the person’s fingertips.

The proportion of blind individuals who can learn Braille lettering, fashioned of 1 to 6 dots in a variety of combos, has fallen, partly attributable to advances in audio description expertise.

However Bristol Braille says studying to learn it might probably considerably increase literacy and numeracy charges among the many blind.

The ultimate prototype of Canute will enter mass manufacturing this yr, priced just like a high-end laptop computer.

“Improvements within the discipline of Braille expertise make this a really thrilling time for Braille readers,” stated Claire Maxwell, senior product developer for Braille on the Royal Nationwide Institute of Blind Folks.

© Thomson Reuters 2019

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