Tech

Sumit Dagar's Braille smartphone

Updated 9:13 AM ET, Fri April 26, 2013
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Indian engineer Sumit Dagar is creating the world's first smartphone for the blind. Courtesy Dinudey Baidya
Dagar (center) has described his creation as "a companion more than a phone." Courtesy Rolex
The engineer is driven by a desire to use technology to improve the lives of disadvantaged members of society and, he says, to help them participate in it more fully. Courtesy Rolex
Dagar is seen here testing a prototype interface with a visually impaired volunteer. Courtesy Rolex
Dagar's first working prototype of the Braille smartphone was little more than an exposed circuit board with moveable pins. Courtesy Sumit Dagar
For this design, Dagar was selected as a 2012 Laureate in the Rolex Awards for Enterprise. Courtesy Sumit Dagar
A mass-market version of the phone will have a screen which is composed of a grid of pins. Courtesy Sumit Dagar
The pins move up and down to form Braille shapes when the phone receives a text or email. Courtesy Sumit Dagar
The smartphone design incorporates "Shape Memory Alloy" technology, based on the concept that metals remember their original shapes, expanding and then contracting after use. Courtesy Sumit Dagar
The technology can convey a range of information to the visually impaired. In this example, the shape of a map is being created. Courtesy Sumit Dagar