How does blindtouch work?
In short: you take a picture, process it with the use of special algorithm into a contour picture and then you transfer such image onto the matrix of bunchy, round pins. By touching the surface, the same way as with the Braille text, we are able „to feel” the photo we have taken with our fingers.
Does the blindtouch camera work the same way as a common camera?
It is much simpler than a usual camera, as it is fully automatic and you only need to press the shutter button and wait few seconds. After a photo is taken it is automatically processed into a format that is read by the base unit: it searches for all the object outlines that are within a camera coverage.
How does the blindtouch look like?
Blindtouch consists of two devices: the camera and the base unit.
The camera resembles a usual compact camera and is as flat so as to fit into a pocket.
On top of it, there are the off, on and shutter buttons, on the front there is a tiny lens hole and on its side there is a USB input with a memory card reader.
The base unit has the shape of a 20 x 20 x 15 cm box with rounded, soft edges.
On its bottom, there are rubber endpins and on top of it there is a 10 x 15 cm matrix of bunchy pins (similar as in the Braille text).
Next to it, there are buttons that switch to another photo and print it.
There is a memory card input on its side.
The base unit can easily fit into a backpack on every trip.
We want blindtouch not only to be useful but also well designed and modern.
Why does it consist of two devices?
Thanks to this, a person who is blind can take a little, mobile camera with them,
take photos and then look through them at home, using the base unit.
Obviously, it is not a problem to take the base unit into a backpack and to „print” pitures right after taking them.
We want to do our best to make the final product as user-friendly as possible.
How can a blind person know what he or she is taking photo of?
By using a trial-and-error method, playing with blindtouch and checking the outcomes.
This is also what we meant: using blindtouch is to be both fun and a totally new experience for its user.
At first, it is good to take some pictures while accompanied by another person so that
he or she could direct the camera at a given object and also help to recognize the shapes.
With time, it will become more and more intuitive.
Is this the final version of a device?
What we present you with is a fully working prototype.
The final product will definitely be improved.
First, we need to increase the picture definition and the printing speed and decrease the size of the base unit so that it is more portable.
How precise are the photos?
In the prototype the resolution is 35 x 25 pins, where one pin corresponds with one photo pixel.
Despite this seemingly poor definition it is possible to display the outline of the mountain range, buildings, cars and people.
In the final product, we would like the definition to be at least 70 x 50 pins, which gives us the opportunity to present very detailed pictures.
How do you know that the camera is on and that it has taken a good photo?
All the activities performed by blindtouch are presented to the user by the voice guidance.
Will the blindtouch be battery-powered?
Yes, both the camera and the base unit will be battery-powered and will be charged in a similar way to our smatrphones.
The main purpose of this project it a complete mobility of the device.
This way we want to encourage people who are blind to explore the world.
The final parameters of the battery are hard to define right now, yet it will definitely allow us to take dozens or even hundreds of photos and to print them on the base unit.
Where can I buy it?
Right now there is only one working prototype of blindtouch and in order to sell it,
we need to collect funds for improving it and starting a production.
We want to do it as fast as possible.
Soon, we are planning to start a crowdfunding campaign and we count on people who will really like our project.
Do you want to help us? Leave your e-mail here
How much will it cost?
At this moment, it is difficult to define a final price, because we want the final product to be even better.
We need to find a balance between a quality of the components we will use,
affordable price and a great performance.
Our main goal is a product availability so we want the price to be no more than a few hundred dollars.
It also depends on the amount of money we will manage to gather in our crowdfunding campaign.
What do you need the crowdfunding money for?
Blindtouch is to enrich the lives of people who are blind and to give them the possibility of exploring the world.
We want them to start sightseeing and just to enjoy the views of photos taken by themselves.
We can only do it by collecting money, because launching a product is an expensive process.
Money collected during a crowdfunding campaign will cover the costs of employing the experts who will work full-time on improving blindtouch.
It will also cover the purchase of a specially designed software as well as the costs of preparing the production line.
How much time will it take to prepare the final product?
Assuming that everything goes according to our plan, it will take about half a year to prepare the technical and production details.
What does typhlography mean?
Typhlography is a term describing a field of art that consists of any materials which help to experience pictures with the sense of touch.