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Image of design award that this project has won
Image of design award that this project has won
Image of design award that this project has won
Image of design award that this project has won
Image of design award that this project has won

Bonocle: braille reader

From prototype to product

Three inventors in Qatar had won an innovation prize with a smart invention that translates screen text on a smartphone or tablet into braille for the blind or visually impaired. They then ask Spark to create the physical design.

Smaller and better

The device allows the user to identify and follow digital text on the screen of a device (a smartphone or tablet). The braille cell transmits the characters one by one to the user’s fingertip. Spark project leader Wichert Put: “The idea was good, but it needed be improved significantly in both aesthetic and ergonomic terms.”

Instant translation to braille

Ergonomic design

Compact size

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Improved ergonomics and design

Thanks to the electronics developed by Spark, the ‘new’ Bonocle is as big as a computer mouse and can also be operated like one: the reader follows the text by moving the mouse and selects a new line using the buttons. This means the text doesn’t need to be indicated on the screen. “We have really been able to add a lot of value in terms of ergonomics and design. Not like a stigmatizing device but like a nice gadget.”

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User feedback

Ultimately, the only thing that counts is what the users think of it. Spark supplied complete, working models for user testing. Put: “The reactions we’ve had from the testers are really positive. The Bonocle was also received with great enthusiasm at CES 2019 in Las Vegas, among others by Stevie Wonder, who was present and who spent time trying out the Bonocle. What is much more interesting, however, was the suggestion by users that the Bonocle would be a great tool for learning how to read braille. Now, that’s something!"

Follow the latest developments and applications here.

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