National Braille Press held its Adjudication Committee meetings last week to deliberate on this year’s Touch of Genius Prize winner. This year there were nineteen applicants from three countries that submitted very competitive and engaging ideas, concepts, and products.
The Touch of Genius Prize for Innovation was awarded to Innovision, a company from India that created the refreshable braille display, BrailleMe, which will offer an affordable option for getting braille into the hands of as many blind people as possible. The committee was impressed with how their unique engineering design produces quality braille at a very low cost. The BrailleMe uses a magnetic actuation with only one moving part to raise and lower braille dots. This simplifies the manufacturing process and eliminates many possible sources of failure compared to legacy braille display technologies.
Honorable mentions include: LightHouse for the Blind San Francisco for their improved developments with TMAP, software that produces tactile maps, and American Printing House for the Blind for the BrailleBlaster, a free braille translation software to help get more braille textbooks to children across the country.
NBP will be awarding the prize to Innovision at the CSUN conference in March, where the BrailleMe will be on display.