Bristol Braille Technology is building Canute: world’s 1st multiline digital Braille — a 360 cell ereader for price of an iPhone
Affordable Braille is essential for blind literacy, education and employment, yet Braille use has been declining for decades due to stagnant technology. Bristol Braille Technology is building a revolutionary and radically affordable Braille ereader for blind people called Canute, designed with and by the blind community.
“With Bristol Braille’s Canute, you will be able to condense your braille library into one simple reading device”
— Royal National Institute of Blind People
The Canute is the world’s first multiple line Braille ereader — forty characters per line by nine lines — and we intend to distribute it for the price of a Perkins typewriter or iPhone.
That’s around £600–800; or 20x cheaper per cell than existing digital Braille devices.
We aim to release the Canute Winter 2017 or Spring 2018.
If you think Braille literacy deserves to be affordable join our community of testers, get in contact. Or contribute what you can towards Braille literacy by donating what you can to this not-for-profit project.
“Two things… 1. Learn Braille. 2. Learn Braille well.”
— Peter White, BBC Radio 4, asked how a blind person should get work in radio.
Listen to why the Braillists find Braille vital.
- Radically more affordable — we’re aiming for £2 per Braille cell
- Locally repairable and servicable for decades to come, like the common bicycle.
- Running entirely Open Source firmware.
Why do we need to act now?
- Blind people who can read Braille are 50% more likely to be employed.
- Braille usage is in decline, Braille teaching is in decline and Braille technology has stagnated.
- Are we content to watch the continued decline of blind literacy in the 21st century?
Why Bristol Braille?
- We are a not-for-profit social enterprise part run by volunteers.
- Operating out of the Bristol Hackspace, a co-operative workshop.
- Supported by Pervasive Media Studio, Blatchington Court Trust, Information Technologists, Braillists, Nominet Trust, Merchant Venturers, Paul Hamlyn Foundation and others.
What still needs to be done?
- Prototype development is advanced, we are now beginning to design for manufacture.
- We’re collaborating with the Braillists for feedback and user testing.
- Further funding is required to get these vital tools into people’s hands.
“Printed books are plentiful and affordable, however, Braille books are presently scarce and expensive. A reliable, affordable, and universally useful electronic Braille book reader has eluded researchers and manufacturers for decades.”
— “Braille for the New Millennium” by P. Duran, D. Gipson & L. Jenkins
Canute will be the world’s first multiline Braille ebook reader. It will be an entirely new class of device to bring Braille to people who would otherwise be unable to afford anything other than massive, bulky hard copy Braille.