Revolutionary e-reader Canute hopes to boost Braille literacy

The Bookseller

17th April 2017

Revolutionary e-reader Canute hopes to boost Braille literacy

by Molly Flatt

Revolutionary and radically affordable, this Braille ereader is long overdue.

The pitch

Affordable Braille is essential for blind literacy, education and employment, yet Braille use has been declining for decades due to stagnant technology. Canute is a revolutionary and radically affordable Braille ereader, designed with, by and for the blind community to hep solve this dilemma.

Canute shows a full page of text rather a single line, meaning it can be used to teach mathematical and scientific formulas and show textbooks in digital Braille in the proper form for the first time. “Over 2016 we ran field tests with schools, blind professionals, educators and students, honing the design to have the greatest impact on the lives and educations of young blind people,” explains Ed Rogers, founder and managing director.

Bristol Braille is a Social Enterprise centred in the Bristol Hackspace. The thirteen-strong Canute team has been building the product for five years and incorporates all manner of backgrounds and skills.

“Some of us are engineers, designers, others specialise in supporting accessible products,” Rogers reports. “All of us came through either the Hackspace or the Braille reading community. Everyone on the team is deeply committed to see the project through to completion and have often volunteered their labour when the project was struggling. We also rely very heavily on the feedback, design and knowledge of a community group of 270 Braille readers called the Braillists.”

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