[AI] Speaking keyboard for blinds in Pune

Pradeep banakar pradeepsocialwork at gmail.com
Fri May 30 13:44:16 EDT 2008

Pune, May 29 (ANI): A group of third year engineering students at Pune has developed a Braille keyboard with a speech feedback that will make typing easy for the visually impaired.

The students studying at Cummins College of Engineering for Women who developed the project said the device will help visually impaired students to write their examination papers on their own, without the assistance of another person.

"This keyboard has six keys out of which there are three special keys. Any blind person can easily use these six keys. There are three special keys called done, space and delete. Once a blind person finishes typing an alphabet, he can press done and if he feels he has to delete what he has typed, he can press delete," said Amrita Kharre, a student.

The keyboard has been designed exactly like the Braille language matrix with three additional keys. The device consists of a Braille keyboard connected to a micro controller and a text to speech (TTS) converter, which gives output as sound that can be heard by using headphone or speakers.

The students are keen to produce the keyboard on a commercial scale and they also plan to develop its various language versions.

"This is like a Braille slate. It is similar to that. We can use it without any problem. All visually impaired people can use this once they get to know about it," said Ganesh Pratap, a visually impaired person.

Braille language was developed by Frenchman Louis Braille in 1761, which is used by visually impaired people all over the world for writing and reading. 

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