The road is being paved for a brand new smartphone – the Braille Smartphone Viom. Viom in Korean means ‘seeing’.
Ever since the mobile entered mainstream usage the designs of phones being launched plummeted to a great degree. The services being offered by service providers increased and with it the utility increased. The concept of the smartphone came along and many devices were replaced by the one small phone handset. No wonder it was called the ‘smartphone’.
One concept that has recently come to light can be termed a smartphone in the true sense. It is called the Braille Smartphone. As the name suggests it is a phone meant for the visually impaired or blind. This section of the society may not be able to see things physically but their needs are no different from any other common person. Similar are their needs for communication. Keeping this fact mind designers Youngseong Kim & Eunsol Yeom came up with the innovative concept of the phone especially designed for the blind.
The concept Braille Smartphone uses Braille and audio cues to communicate with the user. A Braille silicon screen sends audio signals via Bluetooth to a headset worn by the user. The headset is a detachable part of the handset. When not in use the user can easily place the headset back in its handset slot and keep it secure. It gives the user the benefit of having both handset and headset in one place.
The phone boasts of features like route navigation, word recognition and object identification. These are features that any other common smartphone would like to show off.
Look wise the phone is pretty sleek and stylish. The size is that of any other standard phone and can easily be suspended around the neck by a strap.
Designers are increasingly taking up projects of designing for the visually impaired. We have, in recent times, come across products like the Haptic Reader and the Haptic obstacle locator. The Haptic Reader helps translate any given book into Braille allowing a visually impaired access to the whole world of books. The obstacle locator assists in moving around with the ease of avoiding all obstacles on the way. Call it concern for the visually impaired or the satisfaction of doing something different for the needy, the initiative taken up by such designers it commendable.
The Viom Braille Smartphone has come across as a concept. What remains to be seen is when it can turn into reality.