Image Credit: American Printing House
For many people all over the world, braille is their primary language for reading books and articles. Digital braille instrument helps them a lot. The Monarch, a multipurpose device that makes use of the tactile display technology developed by the startup Dot, is the newest and fanciest addition to this system so far.
The American Printing House for the Blind and HumanWare collaborated with The Monarch. This will not be the first braille device used by APH, a development, advocacy, and education organization that focuses on the needs of people who are blind or visually impaired; however, it is by far the most effective.
Image Credit: All That Interesting
Known as the Dynamic Tactile Device before receiving its regal moniker at the CSUN Assistive Technology Conference taking place this week in Anaheim. The apparatus was initially created as a means of adjusting the new braille pin (i.e., the raised that make up its letters) mechanism developed by Dot, a start-up I covered last year. Since their inception, refreshable braille displays have been hampered by high costs, poor durability, and low refresh rates. Dot’s new mechanism made it possible to have reasonably priced, individually replaceable, closely spaced, easily and quickly raisable pins.
APH and HumanWare collaborated to incorporate this cutting-edge technology into the Dynamic Tactile Device, or Monarch, a large-scale braille reader and writer.
The lengthy and complicated publishing process is among the main obstacles for the braille reading community. After being released for sighted readers, a new book, especially a lengthy textbook, may take weeks or months before it is made available in braille. In addition, because braille has a lower information density than regular type, once it is printed, it is of course many times larger than the original.
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APH collaborated on the development of the eBRF, a new electronic braille standard, with the DAISY Consortium and more than 30 other international organizations to address this problem. Users of Monarch will benefit from more functionality as a result, such as the ability to jump between pages (with page numbers that correspond to the page numbers in print books) and the incorporation of tactile graphics into the book file, which will enable the seamless display of both text and graphics on the page.
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The Monarch’s 10 lines of 32 cells each make it possible to read the device more like a printed (or rather embossed) braille page. Additionally, because the pin grid is continuous, it is also capable of showing basic graphics. This represents a significant improvement in braille readers’ ability to read graphics. The 10-line display on the Monarch is a notable advancement over earlier braille readers, which only had one or two lines.
Although the Monarch is a large machine, it must be made to be operated and navigated without the use of sight. It must be used by individuals with a variety of ages, abilities, and needs. The size makes much more sense if you consider it more like a rugged laptop than an e-reader.
There are a few other things with continuous pin grids out there, but it depends just as much on the formats and software as it does on the hardware. For those who read books and articles primarily in braille, The Monarch represents a significant advancement in accessibility.