PANAJI: A portable braille printer designed by two IIT Guwahati students landed an opportunity to be funded by a Goa-based incubation centre.
Startup idea ‘TactAll’, by IIT Guwahati students Kaviraj Prithvi and Lalika Laya, got the opportunity to be funded by the Atal Incubation Centre at Goa Institute of Management (AIC-GIM) as a result of the unique startup hackathon held at the Purple Fest in Goa.
Purple Fest Goa 2023 was organized in association with the Goa State Commission for Persons with Disabilities.
Kaviraj Prithvi and Lalika Laya shall receive support from the incubator in the form of entrepreneur mentoring, access to the network, and financial support.
The Purple Fest Accessibility Hackathon aimed to inspire entrepreneurs, IT companies, students, and innovators to create solutions and support systems that solve the daily difficulties experienced by people with impairments. The innovation, viability, sustainability, and practicality of the ideas were taken into account while choosing the winners.
Inputs like text, audio, custom keyboard input, and photos are all intended to be converted by a mouse-sized device into printed braille and tactile graphics. Multiple patent applications are being filed for this idea. The duo will also have the chance to apply for India’s own funding program, Horses Stable.
“During our research for the hackathon, we interacted with members of the visually impaired community in Bengaluru to understand their problems and find out what is the one thing that they struggle with often. During that time, we found the value braille holds in their life and the inefficiency of standard braille devices. They are bulky and expensive, which is quite unfair as it makes opportunities and an independent life out of reach for the blind. We feel truly accomplished and grateful for this opportunity given to us by AIC-GIM. We are at the 3rd iteration of the prototype. We hope to finalize the design and start production soon,” said Kaviraj Prithvi.
Kaviraj Prithvi has been inventing across a variety of fields and has received national recognition for his work on a BP monitoring device, soft robotic theories, etc. He has a pending-patent for a rotor control system, and some of his inventions are being worked on by teams at IIT Guwahati.
Co-founder Lalika Laya is an engineering physics student who is a product management enthusiast and has also won the National Women Entrepreneurship Challenge 2022 for developing a passive stabilizing shoe.