Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn graciously presented 200 Braille display machines to schools for the blind all over Thailand. The machines were developed from prototypes created by the Synchrotron Light Research Institute (Public Organization) and were presented by Her Royal Highness on the auspicious occasion of her 60th birthday on 2 May 2015. The machines will help the disadvantaged in society with impaired vision to be able to access information more easily.
The Ministry of Science and Technology , realizing the equal importance of groups of people, created this innovation for people to derive benefit together continuously, as well as respond to government policy to strengthen Thai society, lessen social gaps, especially among the socially disadvantaged. The Ministry of Science provided support and it was the Synchrotron Light Research Institute (SLRI), a unit under the Ministry, that successfully created the prototype of the Braille display machine using synchrotron light, to help the socially disadvantaged due to vision impairment. The invention was presented to HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn on the auspicious occasion of her 60th birthday on 2 April 2015.
The Braille display machine is electronic in nature that aids the learning of the visually impaired by providing access to electronic information. The machine transfers information from the computer monitor or the CPU within, to help the visually impaired perceive information from the surrounding world. Today there are many manufacturers of the Braille display machine and conduct research and development for further effectiveness and efficiency, such as increasing the number of cells corresponding to the usual Braille book that contains 40 cells per line. However the prices of such machines are correspondingly quite high. Moreover, the Braille display machine needs to be compatible with other electronic equipment such as the computer or communications equipment, which means a further price for accessing such learning equipment. As current Braille machines display 10 cells, employing X-rays from the synchrotron light generator to create new components for the machine from piezo-electric materials to power the machine and transmit data through computer programs, the prototype machine can now display 20 cells.
The 20 cell display prototype works through the principle of up and down movement of the pixels hidden within the touch screen. When electric pressure is sensed, each display point will separate and move up with the uppermost part protruding about 0.5 mm above the touch screen and able to be sensed by the fingertip. The movement of each point is controlled by an electronic circuit that transforms usual letters to Braille. The prototype can read data from an external SD card , or connect to a computer to read a text file, as well as can read letters from general websites. Upon actual testing with visually impaired subjects, it was found to be of 97% accuracy, which can be lead to further development. As the cost of production may be half of the cost of importing from abroad, the quality of life of the visually impaired in Thailand will surely get even better.
On this occasion, the Synchrotron Light Research Institute (Public Company) was graciously granted an audience with HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn on Thursday, 23 July 2015, 0930, at the Chaipattana Building, Chitralada Palace, Bangkok, to present the 20 cell Braille Display Machine Prototype. There was a report of the principles of the machine as well as demonstration, and a request for HRH Permission to produce 200 of such machines as a gift to schools for the blind all over Thailand as a gift from Her Royal Highness on the Auspicious Occasion of Her 60th Birthday. There will be a label, “From Her Royal Highness,” on each machine, as an expression of gratitude of the people of Thailand.