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MILE Lab

Scan books into braille: the people behind the idea

When you combine unbridled passion for Indic languages and the drive to give back to the nation that nurtures, we get researchers like Shiva Kumar H R. His work titled ‘Gift of New Abilities’ won him the ‘Gandhian Young Technological Innovation Award-2015’. Shiva Kumar and Prof. A G Ramakrishnan have developed high accuracy Optical Character Recognizers (OCR) for Kannada and Tamil languages that convert scanned pages of a printed document/book into e-text.

IISc Student wins Gandhian Young Technological Innovation Award

Shiva Kumar and Prof. A G Ramakrishnan have developed high accuracy Optical Character Recognizers (OCR) for Kannada and Tamil languages that convert scanned pages of a printed document/book into e-text. In addition, they have developed an intuitive GUI called Print-to-Braille tool that enables even non-technical people to quickly use their OCR and make corrections to the mistakes, if any, in the text output by the OCR. By using their OCR along with the Print to Braille tool, the family members or friends of visually challenged people are able to scan any printed book/document and convert it into Unicode text within a short span of time. The visually challenged person can listen to that e-text through any Text to speech (TTS) synthesis software. The e-text can also be converted into Braille codes and printed using a Braille embosser.

MILE Lab at IISc: Developing technologies to enable the specially abled

A braille embosser, which prints out text in braille pattern, costs a few lakhs as compared to a regular printer, which costs around a few thousand rupees. Can anything be done so that printed text can be easily digitized and made available in forms usable by people with visual disability? Or, can text be made available in audio format to the visually impaired? Indeed yes! Medical Intelligence and Language Engineering (MILE) Laboratory at IISc seeks to provide solutions to challenges faced by the specially abled.