Imagine not being able to see the board in a classroom, or on a whiteboard in your office. Sadly that is the case for millions of people with impaired vision. Team Note-Taker team members David Hayden, Michael Asterisks, Qian Yan, and Shashank Srinivas pitched the judges today on their technology, which allows visually impaired students to take notes. To start their presentation they explained the market need, how existing technologies were very limited.
The team, from Arizona State University (ASU), had a personal reason for starting the company. David Hayden, a straight A student who is also legally blind, added a math major in college, and discovered that the notes in class would fill a dozen boards. He was not able to follow class—and had to withdraw from the class. He came up with an ideal solution that take a tablet PC that takes touch and pen inputs; attaches a camera that zooms on the board (pan and tilt); and uses custom software to support handwritten and typed notes, with camera manipulation. Methods today do not allow students to manipulate the camera, or are not portable. By using a solution such as the Note-Taker, students who are vision impaired can reduce the time and struggle in keeping up with their sighted peers in classes.
The technologies used include C++, Windows 7 SDK, Win32, C sharp, .NET framework, and the manufactured design helps lower cost (injection mold, consolidate electronics to one board).
The target audience is people with low-vision and the blind—people who right now might forego higher education due to simply not being able to see in the classroom. Other markets would include vocational rehabilitation agencies.
The team is looking at simplified models for developing markets, and wants to help mainstream low-vision students—so they can help make a huge global impact.
Team Note-Taker’s assistive technology for vision-impaired students would require VC funding, and the team discussed this with the judges, during the Q&A, as well as pricing, assumptions on how students would use it, and additional modifications.
To vote for this team in the People's Choice (ending soon!) please visit: http://bit.ly/jFXOMz