The AbilityNet’s Tech4Good awards were held this month, the UK’s only award ceremony celebrating entrepreneurs and businesses innovating technology for the greater good of society.
Judges were impressed with Bristol Braille’s advancements in a scarcely explored area to make the lives of blind and partially sighted individuals marginally easier by building an affordable Braille e-reader, called Canute.
Canute has been such a tremendous success as it’s been designed by and for blind people, thus pinpointing and tackling the exact problems blind people face. The reader can display a full page of numbers and words, making the Canute incredibly unique as others readers will only show a single line of text.
Bristol Braille is anticipated to sell their technology for much cheaper than the current equivalent, which can cost 1000s of dollars. This is crucial as currently blind and visually impaired people have no alternative options without assistance.
AbilityNet’s Tech4Good award ceremony was a night filled with commendations for selfless individuals. Mark Walker, Head of Marketing and Communications at AbilityNet said, “I set up the Tech4Good Awards to celebrate all the many different ways that technology is being used to make the world a better place.”
“We aim to reverse the decline in Braille literacy amongst blind people by creating affordable and inventive new Braille technology.”
This year’s event had over 200 nominees eliciting an inspiring thought that so many people are pushing tech for good to its very limits.
Bristol Braille stood out from the rest of the cohort when it came to enhancing accessibility. Mark says what the company is doing is paramount to improving the quality of life for blind and partially sighted individuals: “Affordable Braille is essential for blind literacy, education and employment, yet Braille use has been declining for decades due to stagnant technology.”
Ed Rodgers, Director of Bristol Braille, said: “We aim to reverse the decline in Braille literacy amongst blind people by creating affordable and inventive new Braille technology.”
“We thought there weren’t any projects looking to solve this from a mechanical angle, looking about how to use technologies and motors we already have, rather than smart materials and other lab-based solutions.”