Buddy player’s screen shows text in a large font size and uses contrasting colours. “We have implemented this so that people suffering from low vision or dyslexia can easily differentiate the text from the background and read easily,” Baoni informs.
An asymmetrical design of the device helps the users to identify buttons without confusion. There are three buttons on the right and four on the left. Menu navigation has been made simple with fewer searching commands.
The Buddy player can also be used to record discussions in class for reference during revision. It comes with an internal microphone and also a slot for an external microphone. This slot was provided keeping in mind that the visually impaired would prefer recording voice notes to writing down, especially in classrooms. The player records at a low bitrate, which enables the user to record much more content.
“Normally, media players do not pay much attention to the recording feature but we have prioritised this feature. The Buddy player also gives a superior quality of recording,” shares Hemendra. The player comes with an optional voice-based suggestive menu that gives prompts at every step.
Though the device has been designed for the visually impaired, it can be used by anyone as a media player with an e-reader for edutainment.
“In the future, Bisquare plans to build a model with capacitive buttons on the body. Once you touch it with your finger, it will announce the prompt,” Varshney concludes. Bisquare is also planning to launch a tablet that can be used easily by the visually impaired. It will be based on the same technology as the Buddy player but include a touchpad.
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The author is from EFY Bureau, Bengaluru