To learn what a butterfly, a building, or a map looks like, a blind child needs a tactile graphic – simplified and embossed drawing. Moreover, they need another person, a specialist, to guide their hand on the tactile drawing and to simultaneously provide them with verbal information about what they are exploring with their fingers.
This type of exploration is limited – limited to the existence of tactile graphics, which are expensive to reproduce. Also, it requires the availability of another person, who must have not only the necessary time but also the knowledge needed to contextualize the tactile drawing.
The e-learning platform Tactile Images, based on Interactive Augmented Reality, introduces a new type of tactile graphics: self-describing tactile graphics. These can be explored independently by blind children with the help of a mobile application. The connection between the physical board and the application is made through a QR code.
In developing the application, we used algorithms of artificial intelligence, machine learning, finger tracking, and, of course, interactive augmented reality. The latter identifies the place where the finger is positioned on a tactile graphic with an attached QR code, and the information is then transmitted via VoiceOver.
The application is currently only available for iPhone, but we want to develop the Android version in the future. Do you believe in our dream? Find out more about how you can donate to this revolutionary educational project!
The platform for the blind Tactile Images is an alternative pedagogical solution that contains, in addition to the mobile application, a LIBRARY of 800 self-describing drawings and an EDITOR where parents and teachers of blind children can create personalized tactile graphics.
The platform is dedicated to teachers and parents who want to offer blind children an enriched experience. Individual study within the classroom, but also outside the program/locations of specialized schools, is a necessity for the education of blind children.
At the moment, there are hardware ($1500) and software alternatives on the market, but these are predefined products – self-describing books.
We offer a mobile, software, and customizable solution that is not dependent on delivery, maintenance, service, revenue, or language. We make available to everyone a whole e-learning platform where users can create, customize, download, use materials for free.
Our goal is not to offer a finished product because CES education is particular to each child. Instead, we want to create the necessary infrastructure to facilitate access to visual education. Therefore, we make the LIBRARY, EDITOR, DESIGNER (ongoing project), READER mobile application, and inexpensive embossing solutions accessible to anyone, regardless of income, training, age, or geographical area.
Our business model is SaaS Freemium, and we want to keep it that way. All our resources are free – this is why we are looking for financiers who believe in our cause.
We work with seven schools for the blind in Romania, we have partners from other countries, and this year we are extending the innovation to the schools that deal with CES children (20 new partners in Romania). The exploration assistance solution can be extended to those with a learning disability, such as autism.