Digital Braille Clock: A Clock For The Visually Impaired
Visually-impaired individuals face numerous challenges, one of them being a way to accurately yet discretely tell the time. Solutions such as talking clocks are not ideal in very quiet or noisy environments, whereas braille analogue clocks (where the user feels the position of the needle) lack precision. While digital braille clocks do exist, they are expensive to manufacture, as they utilise a piezoelectric mechanism for the braille display.
A student from the NUS Department of Mechanical Engineering, as part of his final year project, has developed a digital braille clock with a rotating disk technology, which is more cost-effective for manufacturing.
This NUS invention adopts a mechatronics system that displays the hour and minutes in braille and numerical digits. It consists of the mechanical design, electronic circuit and firmware. As time passes, three disks with the hours and minutes, rotate to allow the user to feel the correct braille numbers, and tell the time. These disks are connected by a specifically-designed gear train, which is driven by a single motor.
Applications and Advantages
This digital braille clock has the advantages of being low in manufacturing cost, discrete and accurate. Users can also easily tell the time, with just the brisk swipe of a finger over the braille digits. There is also no error of accidentally moving the hour/ minute needles back or forward, as what currently may happen sometimes with analogue watches. By adding in an LED time display, this digital braille clock can be used by both visually and non-visually impaired individuals.
NUS is looking for commercialisation partners to translate this device into a lifestyle product, and bring it to market
Get in Touch
If you have questions regarding this technology and licensing opportunities, we welcome you to contact us here.