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Chinese scientists develop cheap e-notebook for the blind


08 February 2013

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According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), there are around 39 million blind people in the world.

Chinese scientists have developed and tested a prototype electronic notebook for blind people that is designed to be cheap to manufacture.

The e-notebook, called B-Notes, allows people to take notes or memos using Braille or by recording speech. It is similar in size to a mobile phone.

B-Notes makes use of technologies developed by the Chinese Academy of Sciences' Institute of Computing Technology (ICT), including translation software.

Prototype e-notebooks were trialled on ten blind people last month (5 January).

Wang Xiangdong, technical leader of the ICT team that developed the device, says that Braille can be conveniently input using a panel on the e-notebook. "And when [B-Notes is] connected to a computer, the Braille-Chinese translation software can be used to convert Braille into Chinese characters automatically," he says.

Currently, there are almost 39 million blind people in the world, according to the WHO. And according to the China Disabled Persons' Federation, there are more than 12 million visually disabled people in China.

Click here for more.

SOURCE: SciDev.net

 
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