In 2014 Shubham Banerjee, a teen engineer, developed an open source, low cost, Braille printer for the blind and the visually impaired out of a Lego Mindstorm kit and a few items from Home Depot. This year Braigo will hit commercial markets aiming at a price far more affordable then your usual Braille printer.
In November, Braigo will not only be released to the general public, but it will also have its drivers included within Windows 10 by default. This will allow anyone to take advantage of this new innovation by designing their own printer using a DIY kit or just buying the device itself.
Banerjee was invited by Microsoft to showcase his Braigo 2.0 printer at a tech fair organized by the company in New York.
“Our relationship with Microsoft will help Braigo achieve a seamless experience for a visually-impaired person who wants to use a computer at home or at the office to print documents for offline reading,” he said in Microsoft’s blog piece about the partnership.
The printer will be released in November for what they are hoping will be $500. Banerjee wants to make this technology available and ubiquitous to aid many blind and visually impaired in America and elsewhere.
The cost for a typical Braille printer costs well over $2,000, a cost that originally shocked him. That’s why Banerjee is pushing to make this more available, simply because it can be done.
“I achieved an 82 percent reduction in cost and have been overwhelmed by the encouraging feedback from both the sighted and the blind,” he said.
“I discovered that typical Braille printers cost about $2,000 or even more, and I felt that was unnecessarily expensive for someone already at a disadvantage,” Shubham said. “So I put my brain to work, and the first thing that came to mind was to create an alternative using my favorite toy.”