[AI] Launch of DAISY player hardware

Prashant Naik pranaik at gmail.com
Mon Apr 21 08:51:39 EDT 2008

Plug-and-hear notebooks for the blind

By Snehal Rebello

Hindustan Times, April 21, 2008

Part 1 (part 2 will be published soon)


IT company Bi Square spent 10 months designing a audio player that enables
the print-disabled to mss a book in the same manner that the

Sighted access their notebooks

'A student will have for download the e-format of a book on to the player
using a USB cable.

Once loaded, a student will be able to listen to all the content via

Notes dictated in class can, directly be recorded on the player.

The bookmark feature allows a student to resume where he/she left off last.

There is also an option for multiple bookmarks. The player has an in-built
FM radio and a short-term memory to enable storage of tasks or phone

Dyslexic children 'or that Wall", cerebral palsy can also use: the player.

VISUALLY CHALLENGED students will soon be able to sift through class notes
at the press of a button.

While those completely visually challenged use both Braille notes and
recorded text, the partially blind use notes in large point sizes. But
thousands of visually challenged students in the country may no longer have
the need for Braille kits after next month's launch of a palm-sized audio
player that resembles a gaming console.

Henceforth, students will simply have to plug in the earphones of the
player, to be launched by DAISY Forum of India (DFI) and developed by the
Delhi-based IT company Bi Square, to listen to reams of information and
notes. DAISY stands for Digitally Accessible Information System.

Students will also be able to record notes in class while a teacher dictates
the same. Because of its size, students would be able to tune in to the
notes at anyplace - be it in a park or a train.

"This means visually challenged students would no longer have to depend only
on Braille sheets," said Dipendra Manocha, DFI president. "The audio format
of entire books can be stored in it. So if a student has to study 12
subjects, the notes of all the subjects can comfortably sit inside (the

The player can be used not just by the visually challenged, but also by
other print-disabled i.e. those who are dyslexic or suffer from cerebral

The player has several features like bookmarks and short-term memory for
on-the-spot information as well as an in-built FM radio. The player, which
now recognises English, will later be upgraded for use of content in Indian

Manocha said the player would be priced at approximately Rs 5,000 and would
be available with DFI member organisations such as the National Association
for the Blind.

The player has been designed in such a manner that a person not well-versed
with technology can also operate it smoothly. That's the best part of it,"
said Professor Sam Taraporevala, who heads the Xavier's Resource Centre for
Visually Challenged in Mumbai.


Screen reader JAWS, a software that reads aloud the content on a computer

Electronic Braille, which converts printed notes into Braille and

Braille printers/embossers that print in Braille.

Reading machines that read notes or books.

End of article

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