A South Korean startup has developed a lightweight, low-cost Braille printer that fits in a pocket.
At Springwise, we have seen a number of innovations aimed at improving accessibility for everyone. Previous innovations have included a wheelchair suited for air travel and caption glasses that sync with theatre shows. Joungho Yoo had a lot of personal experience in struggling with inclusivity. The 45-year-old South Korean was born with cerebral palsy. After making a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela, Joungho came up with an idea for a portable braille printer. The Vrailler can fit in a pocket, is easy-to-use, and starts at just USD 35, compared to more than a thousand for a standard braille printer.
The Vrailler uses three perforated plastic plates. Paper is first sandwiched between the two bottom plates to create a base. Users then drop a set of plastic pins into the base-plate to create the Braille letters. Once they press the upper plate onto the base, the pins create the indentations of the letters onto the paper. The printer comes with a guide to Braille which allows anyone to create Braille text, even if they are not already familiar with Braille.
Vrailler uses standardised braille dimensions and measurement. It can be used to print multiple languages in Braille, and is designed to be easy to use by just about anyone. Suggestions for uses include printing items such as medicine labels, business cards, menus, or even books. It may be particularly useful for teachers and students, to allow them to communicate more easily with visually-impaired students. Joungho is currently seeking backers on Kickstarter.