Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

NIST Demonstrates New Reading Device For The Blind

Date:
September 26, 2000
Source:
National Institute Of Standards And Technology
Summary:
The National Institute of Standards and Technology has unveiled a new Braille reader that may soon bring the benefits of electronic books to the blind. NIST engineers developed the reader, which transforms the text of e-books into Braille, and also can be used for reading e-mail, browsing the World Wide Web, and other text-based applications.

Sept. 25, 2000 -- The National Institute of Standards and Technology today unveiled a new Braille reader that may soon bring the benefits of electronic books to the blind.

An agency of the U.S. Commerce Department's Technology Administration, NIST demonstrated the machine at its Electronic Book 2000 conference in Washington, D.C.

NIST engineers developed the reader, which transforms the text of e-books into Braille, and also can be used for reading e-mail, browsing the World Wide Web, and other text-based applications.

Computer scientists and engineers at NIST's Information Technology Laboratory had previously developed a prototype Braille reader as a possible low-cost alternative to conventional electronic Braille readers.

During the past year some 250 members of the National Federation of the Blind tried it out and made suggestions about how to make the reader even better. Engineers then set to work on a major redesign to incorporate several improvements.

For example, many blind and visually impaired people prefer to read Braille using several fingers, and the original design only allowed for reading with a single finger. The new Braille reader also is more compact and mechanically simpler than the original.

NIST estimates that the reader could be manufactured for about $1,000. Braille readers currently on the market carry price tags as high as $15,000.

Much of the cost savings are a result of a new design approach. The new NIST reader uses only three actuators—the mechanical devices that form Braille letters. Commercial Braille readers usually have hundreds of actuators.

The NIST reader employs software to translate text into Braille, and features variable speed that allows people to read faster or slower, or to pause the device.

NIST is seeking to transfer the technology to the private sector, where it can be commercialized to bring the benefits of e-books to the blind and visually impaired.

About 50,000 e-books already have been sold in America, and industry analysts believe e-books could represent a $2.3 billion market by 2005, about 10 percent of all consumer books.

NIST held the world's first e-book conference in 1998. The agency has been working with the e-book industry to develop voluntary standards that will facilitate the growth of the industry.

A group of publishers, e-book manufacturers and software developers announced an agreement to adopt the Open Electronic Book Specification last year.

This year's e-book conference, which runs from September 25-27, is cosponsored with the National Information Standards Organization.

As a non-regulatory agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce's Technology Administration, NIST strengthens the U.S. economy and improves the quality of life by working with industry to develop and apply technology, measurements and standards through four partnerships: the Measurements and Standards Laboratories, the Advanced Technology Program, the Manufacturing Extension Partnership and the Baldrige National Quality Program.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by National Institute Of Standards And Technology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

National Institute Of Standards And Technology. "NIST Demonstrates New Reading Device For The Blind." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 September 2000. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/09/000926071411.htm>.
National Institute Of Standards And Technology. (2000, September 26). NIST Demonstrates New Reading Device For The Blind. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/09/000926071411.htm
National Institute Of Standards And Technology. "NIST Demonstrates New Reading Device For The Blind." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/09/000926071411.htm (accessed September 22, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, September 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

AP (Sep. 21, 2014) Sierra Leone residents remained in lockdown on Saturday as part of a massive effort to confine millions of people to their homes in a bid to stem the biggest Ebola outbreak in history. (Sept. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Newsy (Sep. 20, 2014) Sierra Leone is locked down as aid workers and volunteers look for new cases of Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Changes Found In Brain After One Dose Of Antidepressants

Changes Found In Brain After One Dose Of Antidepressants

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) A study suggest antidepressants can kick in much sooner than previously thought. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins