round image on layout top

The Braille Snail

By Lito Carasig - Monday, May 09, 2011

I always envisioned technology as a boon to mankind, especially for those who are differently challenged. Reaffirming my faith in mankind, a new device that enables the visually impaired to “read” Braille like never before, we have the Snail.

Braille SnailThe Snail uses pressure sensitive touch pads to read Braille patterns, instantaneously converting them to speech or recording them for later use. Its ergonomic design makes it very compact and light for easy storage in a bag or purse, though it is still large enough for those with poor eyesight to find amongst their stuff with little difficulty. 

The Snails design makes its very intuitive to use.  The user simply places the device on his or her thumb, removes the bumper cover and glides its pressure sensitive reader surface along a line of Braille to read what is written. 

The uneven Braille pattern is then read through the Snails sensitive touch surface and simultaneously converted into an audio output. It can also be synced with a Bluetooth headset for instant playback in real-time, so that the users can use it public places like libraries or buses without disturbing anyone.

Braille SnailThe Snail was conceptualized by its designer, Wonkook Lee, with the visually impaired in mind.  He reasoned that it takes too much time and focus for the visually impaired to read Braille points and if they forget the preceding content of what they are reading, they have to read the whole line again from the start which he knew must be very frustrating.

The benefits of using the Snail Braille Reader are obvious :  its fast compared to the conventional touch-read system; minimum or no learning curve since all the user has to do is roll the unit on the Braille pattern, and it’s very light and compact.

Of course, though the device was predominantly designed to help the visually impaired, no one is stopping us not-so-visually challenged from taking advantage. I have often wondered myself what stories those little bumps on paper have to tell, and now I’ve finally got a way to find out.

Seriously though, the Snail can greatly enhance the reading power of the blind thus both empowering and encouraging them to read more.  I say, kudos to the designer for a well-thought out piece of technology that makes the world of the visually impaired just a little bit brighter.

You may also be interested in:

Lithium Ion Tech Leaps Forward
With the tight grip corporations keep on the output of their R&D departments, we don’t see the kind of revolutionary changes we used to. We…

Super Earth Discovered
Often when we discuss technology we are talking about small devices that we use from the consumer electronics industry. It’s easy to forget that technology…

Move Over Lego
We all snapped together Lego blocks or some clone of them in our lives. We could build huge cathedral like expanses or simply make tanks…

Molybdenite Circuits May Supplant Silicon
Move over, silicon, molybdenite is here to take over the IC (integrated circuit) business. Where silicon fails, a molybdenum sulfide option will allow chips to…

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No! It’s Super Battery!
What if you could charge your battery 10xs faster, get it to run 10x longer and have it last for thousands of charges instead of…

blog comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Lithium Ion Tech Leaps Forward

Super Earth Discovered

Move Over Lego

Molybdenite Circuits May Supplant Silicon

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No! It’s…

Electronic Tattoos to Monitor the Bodies’…

bottom round image