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Braille printer goes global

March 2, 2017

Braille printer goes globalA printer designed by Vietnamese students has expanded worldwide.

Vietnamnet reported that students from Da Nang have won first prize in a national creativity competition, and will travel to Japan to show their braille printer at an International exhibition in May. Nguyen Thien Nhan who was a student at the Le Quy Don school for the gifted, and Dang Huynh Khanh Ly, a former pupil of Hoa Vang High school, invented the printer together so that visually impaired people could “read and process information and images”.

The Braille printer uses a needle instead of ink nozzles, and combined with heat creates braille on cardboard. The entire printer, apart from the plastic cover, is made from recycled materials and weighs one kilogramme. It took the students seven months to create the braille printer, and they have won many prestigious prizes since then, including the first prize for Science and Technology Innovation.

Both Ly and Nhan said that they will make improvements to the printer before the show in Japan, and that instead of using USB to connect with computers, theirs will have a keyboard enabling users to “print documents more easily”. They also want to make the printer smaller and lighter so that it is more portable, and Nhan said that he hopes the printer can be “manufactured on a large scale”.

Both students are planning to join the national competition for start-ups, which will be in Hanoi in March, and have invented a “hardware programming solution for children”, which they have called Ekid. Last year a new ink-based solution called Touchable Ink was developed by advertising agency J Walter Thompson Bangkok, Thammasat University and Samsung Thailand.

The method uses a normal printer to “enable braille printing on normal paper”, and is said to be “cheaper than using a braille printer”, with the ink also said to possibly be “a reliable substitute to the old coding system”.


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