HOME ABOUT CONTACT AVAILABLE ISSUES SUBSCRIBE MEDIA & ADS
LATEST UPDATES » Vol 22, No 05, May 2018 – Dental health - The root to good health       » Drugs to watch 2018       » Dragonfly-inspired nano coating kills bacteria upon contact       » New compound improves stroke recovery in monkeys and mice       » Cancer stem cell therapy breakthrough       » Draft genome of tea plant sequenced      
EYE on CHINA
Chinese scientists develop cheap e-notebook for the blind
Chinese scientists have developed and tested a prototype electronic notebook for blind people that is designed to be cheap to manufacture.

The e-notebook, called B-Notes, allows people to take notes or memos using Braille or by recording speech. It is similar in size to a mobile phone.

B-Notes makes use of technologies developed by the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Computing Technology (ICT), including translation software.

Prototype e-notebooks were trialled on ten blind people.

Wang Xiangdong, technical leader of the ICT team that developed the device, says that Braille can be conveniently input using a panel on the e-notebook. “And when [B-Notes is] connected to a computer, the Braille-Chinese translation software can be used to convert Braille into Chinese characters automatically,” he says.

Currently, there are almost 39 million blind people in the world, according to the WHO. And according to the China Disabled Persons’ Federation, there are more than 12 million visually disabled people in China.

Wang tells SciDev.Net that the basic technological research for the e-notebooks has been completed and they are expected to be available in China later this year at a cost of RMB500 to 800 (around US$80 to $130).

The e-notebook has three main features. First is the Braille input. The e-notebook's input panel has an array of mini keys that allows users to type.

Second is the intelligent translation system, which is up to 95 % accurate. When the e-notebook is connected to a computer, pre-installed software moves all Braille in the device over to the computer and translates it into Chinese characters.

Third, the e-notebook has a voice interface. There are voice prompts to guide users through the device's various operations.

Currently, the notebook can only translate Chinese Braille to Chinese characters. But Wang says that if other countries express an interest in the device, it will be possible to produce e-notebooks that translate other versions of Braille into other languages.

The blind people who tested the prototype notebooks told developers that they found them portable and easy to use.

A spokesperson for the Beijing Municipal Commission of Economy and Information Technology, which is sponsoring the e-notebook's development, says the notebooks could support blind people in their everyday working and living.

Li Jiao
Source: Science Development Network

Click here for the complete issue.

NEWS CRUNCH  
news Shire, Microsoft and EURORDIS form Global Commission to accelerate time to diagnosis for children with rare diseases
news EmTech Asia explores future of life, humanity and economy
news Biology of Ageing II - Impactful Interventions
PR NEWSWIRE  
Asia Pacific Biotech News
EDITORS' CHOICE  
COLUMNS  
Subscribe to APBN E-Newsletter
Find us under 'Others' option to receive APBN e-newsletters thrice a month!

APBN Editorial Calendar 2018
January:
Obesity / Outlook for 2018
February:
Searching for the fountain of youth
March:
Women in Science - Making a difference
April:
Digestive health in the 21st century - Trust your guts
May:
Dental health - The root to good health
June:
Oncology / Biotech landscape in APAC
July:
Water management / Vaccination
August:
Regenerative medicine / Biotech start ups
September:
Digital healthcare / 3D printing
October:
Bones / Breast cancer
November:
Liver health / Top science research nations & institutions
December:
AIDS / Breakthrough of the year/Emerging trends
Editorial calendar is subjected to changes.
MAGAZINE TAGS
About Us
Events
Available issues
Editorial Board
Letters to Editor
Instructions to Authors
Advertise with Us
CONTACT
World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd.
5 Toh Tuck Link, Singapore 596224
Tel: 65-6466-5775
Fax: 65-6467-7667
» For Editorial Enquiries:
   biotech_edit@wspc.com or Ms Lim Guan Yu
» For Subscriptions, Advertisements &
   Media Partnerships Enquiries:
   biotech_ad@wspc.com
Copyright© 2018 World Scientific Publishing Co Pte Ltd  •  Privacy Policy