NBP is taking a leadership role to research, develop and produce specific affordable, accessible technology products that will help promote braille literacy and usage. While paper braille will not disappear in the immediate future, NBP believes that it is equally important for blind people to have accessible technology to access information that the digital age provides.
NBP will be launching its first product, a braille mobile computing device with refreshable braille display designed specifically for blind people, called the b2g (Braille to Go). Most people use these devices in our personal lives and know them as smart phones, iPads, and laptop computers. NBP's device serves this same purpose and is tailored for blind people by removing the screen, and adding a 20 character braille display and standard braille keyboard for data entry. The b2g is small and portable - about half the size of a sheet of paper - and less than one inch thick, so users can take it everywhere they'd take a cell phone. It will be built on Android, an open source platform, to encourage innovation. View features and functions.
Braille displays for the blind are not a new concept. The technology has been around for several decades but since blindness is a low incidence disability in the U.S., the size of this market does not encourage the same innovation as found in mainstream technology. As a result, current braille displays are expensive - in the $5,000-$10,000 range - and often lack the same features as sighted people have come to expect.
Since the b2g will be built using the Android operating system, NBP expects many of the features and applications to be continually upgraded and expanded.