'Looking ahead' to the future

How far science has come throughout the 21st century is beyond exhilarating and remarkable, especially with smart phones and other electronic commodities. People can do almost anything with their smart phones, from watching television and movies to surfing the web to getting directions to even giving commands to the phone itself.

Recently, an Indian engineer named Sumit Dagar is in the process of creating a phone created specifically for the visually impaired — a Braille smart phone.

According to CNN, the phone will have “a screen comprised of a grid of pins, which move up and down to form into Braille shapes and characters whenever an SMS message or email is received. It uses what’s called Shape Memory Alloy technology, so as each pin expands, it remembers and contracts back to its original final shape.”

Dagar, who is an interaction design graduate of the National Institute of Design, came up with the concept for the phone three years ago. CNN said he is “collaborating with IIT Delhi on the prototype, which is being tested at the LV Prasad Eye Institute.”

The phone is set to be released in late 2013 and will cost approximately $185.

On the article’s comment page, many people seemed highly in favor of this new phone. One user said, “How cool is this? Sometimes technology is good.”

“I hope this will take off as a great product that will help many visually impaired people. God bless you,” another user said.

Shippensburg University students are in favor of the idea of a Braille smart phone as well.

“Phones are starting to gear toward disabled people. Braille phones add to that. I think it would be really interesting to see,” junior management information systems and accounting major Kevin Rezac said.

A sophomore majoring in early childhood education, Katie Grubb said, “I think it’s a great idea. They need to be able to get in contact with people, if not more.”

“It’s a great way to help them participate in society,” Kim Jorret, a junior secondary education and history major said.

The concept of a smart phone designed specifically for the visually impaired is proof that smart phones, along with technology as a whole, continues to adapt in ways no one could have ever imagined.

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