Android based Braille Tablet for Visually Impaired


Assistive Technology play a critical role in easing connectivity and communication for individuals with sensory, physical or cognitive difficulties, impairments and disabilities enabling them to fully participate in society. In this case study we are looking at an intelligent Assistive Technology device for the Visually impaired that aids students/professionals with better access to their work environment and improves their academic/professional performance.Assistive Technology - Android based Braille Tablet for Visually Impaired

The Customer

The customer is a global leader in designing products in Assistive Technology products for visually impaired and those with low vision. They offer a wide range of innovative products from custom designed Android tablets, digital audio book players, portable vision and reading systems to a line of electronic handheld magnifiers.

The Requirement

The Braille Notetaker is a tablet computer designed and developed for the visually impaired. The product uses 18 / 32 cell Braille display that serves as the output interface for the users and employs a Perkins keyboard that serves as the primary input medium. With the advent of technology and progress in software, the customer wanted to replace the Braille Notetaker with a custom designed Android tablet to realize the same functionalities. The requirement was to redesign the existing product to use a more powerful, yet power-efficient System-on-Chip (SoC) running the latest version of Android OS. Additionally, the new product needed to be compatible with the existing mechanical design, without any changes to the product enclosure.

Solution Provided

The existing version of Braille Notetaker was a single board solution that contained all the electronics on a single hardware platform. Mistral realized the new version with a modular approach by using a two-board solution. This featured Mistral’s off the shelf System-on-Module – the 820 Nano SOMpowered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 (APQ8096) SoC and a carrier board which had all the product specific interfaces. This involved modifying the existing product hardware to accommodate the 820 Nano SOM and its capabilities, i.e. removing components on the existing hardware and adding connectors needed for plugging in the 820 Nano SOM. Assistive Technology - Android based Braille Tablet for Visually Impaired

The 820 Nano SOM, is a compact, light-weight, System on Module, providing high processing capability; which addressed the video processing and low power requirements demanded by the product. Mistral modified the design of the carrier board to ensure the new modular design fits into the existing product enclosure.

Read the full case study to know more about the device specification and how we addressed the dimensional parameters.