BrailleRing: The Braille Revolution

Tetragon is developing an innovative refreshable Braille display that will be small and, nevertheless, be capable of showing long lines of text. This is achieved by a ground-breaking technology which presents the Braille characters on the inside of a rotating ring.

ring-shaped mockup hold in one hand

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News

For the past three days we showed our mock-ups and our upscaled prototype to a broad audience at the Vienna Research Festival. The working prototype was refined for this event, so we were able to show it in action for all three days. Children loved to type in their names on our laptop and then watch our BrailleRing forming the letters in Braille.

Vienna Research Festival 2018

The patent describing our BrailleRing is nominated for Staatspreis Patent, which is the most important award for inventions awarded by the state of Austria. BrailleRing included, two out of four nominees are projects at TU Wien (Vienna University of Technology).

Staatspreis Patent (in German)

Tetragon took first place in WINTEC 2018. WINTEC (Wissenschaftspreis Inklusion durch Naturwissenschaften und Technik) is a prize for inclusion through science and technology. It is awarded by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs, Health and Customer Protection.

WINTEC 2018 (in German)

Today, the Vienna Business Agency held an event about Social Tech, where we showed our prototypes to a small but curious audience. It was the second time we attended one of these so called "Business Treffs". The first one was in October 2017 and was directly aimed at technologies for blind people.

Vienna Business Agency

This week we attended the International Conference on Computers Helping People with Special Needs (ICCHP), presenting our paper "BrailleRing: The Shortest Long Braille-Display in the World – A Review of the State-Of-The-Art and a New Approach". Among other interesting people we also met Michael Curran, who started the popular screen reader NVDA. He would love to include support for our device in his software.

Our ICCHP paper at Springer (Open Access)

ICCHP website

The detailed conditions for the Spin-off Fellowship funding we receive are now fixed. Our project "MoBraille" will run for 15 months, starting in September. The funding will cover prototyping, user studies and cooperation with a contract manufacturer. Our goal is to enter the market with a first small batch once the Fellowship is finished.

Spin-off Fellowship information (in German)

We were invited by TU Wien (Vienna University of Technology) to join their booth at the WeAreDevelopers World Congress. So we were able to showcase and explain our prototypes to a lot of people who are interested in technology.

WeAreDevelopers

Our Braille display is one of only eight projects to receive a new established funding from FFG (Austrian Research Promotion Agency) called Spin-off Fellowship. Our project will run under the name MoBraille at TU Wien (Vienna University of Technology). The goal of this program is to found our startup as a spin-off of the university.

FFG's press release about the funding (in German)

Impact Hub Vienna organized an event called Tech4Good, inviting several projects and startups to show their work. We had a booth to show our prototypes and we also had the opportunity to present our project on stage.

Tech4Good fotos on Facebook

An extended abstract describing the BrailleRing and the state of the art of Braille displays was accepted for the 16th International Conference on Computers Helping People with Special Needs (ICCHP 2018). We will now finish work on the full paper and will present it at the conference next summer at the Johannes Kepler University of Linz.

ICCHP

Now that the Austrian patent has been granted, we are working to extend it to other countries. We recently received the international search report, and we are now discussing different options for our next steps.

European patent office (EPO)

Patent AT518530 describing our BrailleRing concept is now officially published. Since its submission to the patent office in July 2016, not a single claim had to be changed, which can be seen as a compelling proof of innovation.

Austrian patent office

The T-Mobile Environment and Sustainability Fonds support innovative and sustainable projects with their TUN-Award. At today's gala Tetragon was announced to have made 2nd place in this year's awards.

TUN-Awards (in German)

As announced earlier this year, Tetragon was running for the Aspirin Social Innovation Award at Bayer Foundations. Today was the final pitch event in Berlin and the audience was thrilled to see our concept.

Update: It is now officially confirmed that Tetragon is among the winners.

Aspirin Social Innovation Award

Tetragon's István Deák and Wolfgang Zagler were speakers at the World Health Summit 2017 in Berlin. It was a pleasure to present the BrailleRing project to a global audience, as part of the »Beauty of Impact« book presentation of the Bayer Foundation.

World Health Summit 2017

Tetragon among the 5 winners of the Social Impact Award at Impact Hub Vienna.

The Social Impact Award is a four month incubation program with the tagline »Inspiring Students to make a difference«. Workshops, mentoring and access to the Impact Hub network in more than 18 countries aim to facilitate the critical start-up phase of social entrepreneurs creating impact in society.

Social Impact Award on Trending Topics (in German)

Last week TU Wien (Vienna University of Technology) published the first press release about Tetragon. As a result several well-known Austrian media like orf.at, derstandard.at and diepresse.com published articles about our refreshable Braille display, some of them not only online but also in their printed formats.

TU Wien's article about Tetragon (in German)

Today Tetragon distributed to a small exhibition at TU Wien (Vienna University of Technology), where international guests of the ISPIM Innovation Conference learned about TU Wien startups and the ecosystem around the TU Wien Innovation Incubation Center (i²c). Scientists from different countries showed great interest in Tetragon's BrailleRing.

ISPIM Innovation Conference

At the 4GAMECHANGERS Festival in Vienna we met Thimo Schmitt-Lord, CEO at Bayer Foundations, in a spontaneous pitch event. In this event we qualified for the next round of the Bayer Foundations' Aspirin Social Innovation Award.

Aspirin Social Innovation Award

The i²c Networking Friday at TU Wien (Vienna University of Technology) was a big success. Tetragon showed BrailleRing to a broad audience for the first time and got great feedback. Our team won the innovation award in a pitch challenge, which grants us two tickets for the upcoming Pioneers Festival at Hofburg.

Full i²c Facebook gallery of the Networking Friday