A 14-year-old boy of Indian-origin has invented a low-cost portable Braille printer. Shubham Banerjee is now working with technology giant Microsoft to integrate Braigo drivers with Windows to make it easily accessible to the visually-impaired.
Shubham Banerjee is recognised worldwide as one of the most promising entrepreneurs. The idea came to him in 2014, when he found a flyer to promote a fundraiser for blind people. Wondering how they can read, he learned Braille and how complicated the process of printing the books for those who suffer from this deficiency.
“When I found the price of a Braille printer, I did not come to believe it,” Banerjee told. “I wanted to help people, so I tried to build a device from the materials available.” These materials were Lego pieces, with which the young man managed to develop its first phase. Hence the company name Braigo: Braille and Lego. His parents helped him to buy the remaining materials which were successfully tested to the printer.
In the world, there are almost 300 million people that cannot see and 90% of them live in developing countries. The current cost of a Braille printer is almost two thousand dollars, but Banerjee’s prototype is four times cheaper. He is targeting a price of US$ 500.
This invention attracted the attention of several specialised publications when he received the Tech Awards 2014 and an invitation to the White House for an event dedicated to young entrepreneurs and inventors.
Intel was impressed by the idea and decided to invest in product development. Thus, Banerjee became the youngest entrepreneur in a capital investing company venture. “I never thought that a large company would be interested in my project,” says the young man. “It was an extraordinary surprise.”
With funding received, Banerjee says he wants Braigo Labs to develop another prototype that resembles a normal printer.