WaveTech Creates Electronic Gloves for Blind People to Become more Socially Active
The digital revolution has not touched everyone in the same way. In a world where the next great invention is expected to appear on the screens of mobile phones, blind people have been left behind. However, WaveTech aims to exploit the potential of new technologies to make their life easier, and to also help them become more socially active. They are currently finalists at the Social Impact Awards, a project that empowers youth to make a difference.
CBW conducted an interview with Nikoloz Sakandelidze, Iva Kalandadze and Archil Sharashenidze, co-founders of company WaveTech, and their project TapText:
First of all, I would like to ask, how much of a social impact do you think Tap Text can make? Tell us a little bit more of your project.
Tap-Text is a project by the Wave Tech company that will bring the blind one step closer to the digital social world. Our device consists of two electronic gloves; a person puts the gloves on, and by tapping their fingers on any surface he or she sends messages, e-mails to anybody, writes posts on social networks. The text written in the braille alphabet will be converted into any desired language.
As a result, the blind become more involved in our daily lives.
To paraphrase the American astronaut Neil Armstrong to describe our project. "It's a small step for a man, and a giant leap for the blind." - Archil Sharashenidze.
How did you come up with the idea, which factor helped you implement and develop your startup?
Where are people with disabilities? Why aren't they members of our daily lives?
It didn’t take us too much thinking, that our product was intended for the blind. When searching for one of the articles on the Internet, we found that the blind could not easily type text like us. That's when the main idea and the purpose of our project was revealed. We had to create a device that would allow blind people to type and manipulate electronic text. ”- Archil Sharashenidze
Who’s your team and what’s work process like?
Team members are all students at the Free University of Tbilisi. We study together at the Mathematics and Computer Science’s Bachelor program. Our decent knowledge of hardware/software engineering allows all three of us to support the project on both the hardware(engineering) and software(coding) sides.
At this stage of our project, we spend most of our time on improving the device technically, and making it more user-friendly, as our first priority is to make the users, blind people, feel comfortable using our device -Nikoloz Sakandelidze
What technologies do you use to implement your idea?
Currently, we have the very first version of our device’s prototype. For this version, we use different types of microcontrollers as the brain of our device, and different types of wireless and non wireless sensors ,for example: touch sensors, which gives us information about fingers touching some surface, etc. It might seem that the product’s architecture is not too complex, but as a result, it took our team a significant amount of time to get a fully functional device.- Nikoloz Sakandelidze
You are a finalist in SIA Georgia. What excites you the most, right now, and what do you see as your next step?
We are pleased that we have accumulated a wealth of experience and knowledge with this project, and managing a startup that will help us develop the project, and obtain the final product for sale. At this point, we are trying to refine the project both technically and in terms of our business. The team's near future is to win at SIA Georgia, which is one of our key aspirations toward this greater goal. - Iva Kalandadze
We wish you good luck!