[nfbmi-talk] {Disarmed} braille notetaker

gkitchen ghkitchen at comcast.net
Wed Jan 19 00:15:25 CST 2011

[access-uk] Braille Notetaker, The Wizard, text
  a.. From: "Damon Rose" <damon.rose at xxxxxxxxx>
  b.. To: <access-uk at xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  c.. Date: Mon, 13 Sep 2010 15:10:44 +0100
Oh only just noticed I still had the page open from earlier so here's all the 
text from the site that now seems to have gone down. 

Introducing the Wizard

The Wizard is a braille Personal Digital Assistant, PDA, designed specifically 
for blind people.  Most of us use PDA's in our personal lives and know them
as smart phones, iPad's, laptop computers, and even desktop computers.   The 
Wizard is a similar device that is tailored for blind people. Instead of a
screen, the Wizard features a 20-character braille display with synthetic 
speech output and a standard braille keyboard for data entry.  Packaged to keep
it small and portable, the Wizard is about half the size of a sheet of paper 
and less than one inch thick, so users can take it everywhere they would take
a cell phone.    

Why Create Another Braille PDA for Blind People?

Braille PDA's for the blind are not a new concept.  The technology has been 
available for almost three decades, but since blindness is a low incidence 
in the U.S,. the size of this market does not encourage the same innovation 
that drives mainstream technology.  As a result, current braille PDA's are
expensive-in the $5,000-10,000 range- and often lack the same features as 
sighted people have come to expect in a PDA.   What makes the Wizard different
is that it is being produced by a Boston-based non-profit, National Braille 
Press, that is dedicated to literacy for blind people through braille.  NBP
is committed to creating a braille PDA that is affordable, with a wide range of 
features, and uses Android as an open source platform to encourage innovation.

Wizard Features and Functions

list of 17 items
* 8 dot braille keyboard with an imbedded cursor pad. 
* 20 cell, 8 dot braille display with cursor routing and forward and back keys. 
* Android Operating system found in many smartphones. 
* 32GB of internal storage, users can plug SD cards into the back of the Wizard 
to create data backups or to load data from other sources.   
* Bluetooth wireless connectivity for headsets and other hands free devices. 
* WiFi connectivity to access local networks or other WiFi hotspots. 
* Two USB (Universal Serial Bus) ports for users to connect to other computer 
* Accelerometer - the same chip that is used in games is also used to detect 
the orientation of the Wizard and allows it to adjust when it is tapped or
* Speech input and output for users who want to listen instead of read braille, 
the Wizard has synthetic speech output.  It also has speech input so users
can perform voice searches, dial by voice, and create voice short cuts. 
* Cellular connection for data and voice, which can be used as a cell phone and 
smart phone for email, web browsing, and smart applications. 
* Built-in speakers and microphone for users with a cell phone carrier contract 
to make and receive phone calls. 
* Headphone/headset jack, a standard jack where users can plug in their 
favorite headphones. 
* GPS receiver to identify locations, and with the help of smart applications, 
to provide navigation information.  Android-based navigation applications
for blind users are currently being created by other developers. 
* Compass to help users navigate. 
* Built-in music player. Users can load a music library on the Wizard and 
listen via speakers or headset.   
* 5Mp camera, for photography and to identify items or surroundings in the 
user's environment.  Applications are available that can photograph and read
a printed page. 
* Video output connector: for users who need a visual display. 
list end

National Braille Press is currently in the first year of product development 
and making significant progress. A working prototype of the Wizard is expected
to be completed by 2011 and the device will be available to the public soon 
after that. Since Android is a working, usable operating system, we expect
to continually upgrade and expand the features of the Wizard. Applications for 
the Wizard will be created by third party developers so there is unlimited
possibility for the product to evolve based on the user's needs.

About National Braille Press The Wizard is a project of the Center for Braille 
Innovation (CBI) (insert link) at National Braille Press (www.nbp.org), which
began in the winter of 2009.  In an effort to increase brwaille literacy, the 
Wizard was conceived as the first CBI project, one of many projects that
NBP's Center plans to initiate to make accessible technology products for blind 
people so that they can stay connected in the digital world.     NBP is
taking a leadership role to research, develop and produce specific affordable 
accessible technology products that will help promote braille literacy for
young readers, and support blind students and adults in school and in the 
workplace environment.  While paper braille will not disappear in the immediate
future, NBP believes that it is equally important for blind people to have 
accessible technology to access information that the digital age provides

Worldwide Collaborations Since the launch of National Braille Press's Center 
for Braille Innovation, NBP has been joined by the National Federation of the
Blind, The China Braille Press, the World Braille Foundation and the American 
Printing House for the Blind to partner in various affordable technology
projects for blind people. The Wizard project is being funded by the National 
Braille Press, federal appropriations, the National Federation of the Blind,
and the China Braille Press.  As non-profit organizations, these groups are 
committed to ensuring that blind people have access to technology at affordable
prices.  If you would like to donate to this project, please go to 
(www.nbp.org) to learn more. ![]()

Powered by 
 © 2006-2010 Jean-Philippe Lang 

Damon Rose
Senior Content Producer Ouch! website and talk show 
BBC Vision Learning

Tel: 020 8752 4427 (x0224427)
email: damon.rose at xxxxxxxxx
Twitter:  @damonrose 

bbc.co.uk/ouch is home of the Ouch! Talk Show online since 2006. Disability 
chat like wot you'd have with yer mates - via podcast or streamed on the web:

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a.. Follow-Ups: 
    a.. [access-uk] Re: Braille Notetaker, The Wizard, text 
      a.. From: Peter Beasley
    b.. [access-uk] Re: Braille Notetaker, The Wizard, text 
      a.. From: Paul Leake
Other related posts:
  a.. » [access-uk] Braille Notetaker, The Wizard, text - Damon Rose
  b.. » [access-uk] Re: Braille Notetaker, The Wizard, text - Peter Beasley
  c.. » [access-uk] Re: Braille Notetaker, The Wizard, text - Paul Leake
  d.. » [access-uk] Re: Braille Notetaker, The Wizard, text - Jackie Cairns
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