Two students of Universitas Gadjah Mada have developed a mobile phone for the blind called iBlind that can make long distance communication easy.
The tool made by those students - Muhammad Hanif Sugiyanto and Swakresna Edityomurti – have earned a bronze medal in the category of Technology for Special Needs during the International Exhibition of Young Inventors (IEYI) contest in Jakarta on 1 November 2014.
Hanif said the idea for making the iBlind stemmed from the concerns that the blind people find it difficult using mobile phones. Since 2013, along with fellow student Swakresna, they have started to work on the iBlind.
“In my neighbourhood, there was a blind person that often complained when he had to check on the mobile phone for the short text messages he had received. This had pushed me to develop the iBlind,” he said.
According to Hanif, the iBlind would convert the text into the Braille codes. “The short text messages in the digital form is transformed into Braille alphabets using a software,” said the student studying Information Technology.
These are then displayed on the iBlind, not on the screen but holes that can elevate and produce Braille alphabets for users to touch to understand the message. “Currently, there are only 5 characters on display,” he said.
The prototype at present can only receive short text messages, not yet for sending messages or making calls. The components are not yet assembled together, either.
Swakresna added in the future they would develop the tool like other regular mobile phones to make if easy for users. “We plan to make this into a 8x11 cm tablet,” said the student from UGM Vocational School.