Visually impaired individuals are set to benefit from the development of KWSP’s digital Braille and tactile printing technology.
The UK engineering consultancy is funded by the Horizon 2020 SME Instrument research programme.
KWSP aims to create a desktop printer which will digitally print tactile matter in the form of Braille for homes and offices.
The company is working in collaboration with the Hungary-based Central European Research Centre (CERC) and digital printing specialist Alchemie Technology.
KWSP said current embossing methods are “analogue, inflexible and not on-demand to users”.
The device, b.my.jet, aims to operate at a comparable cost to laser printers. It’s anticipated to deliver a similar change for Braille printing as the transition from typewriter to computer processing for the printed word.
b.my.jet will enable instant access to materials for the visually impaired at lower costs than current embossing technology. The project also hopes to include scanning and ‘copy to Braille’ features.
Managing director of KWSP, Kieron Salter, said: “I believe engineers have a social responsibility – this project is an example of how engineering can use current and future technology to improve quality of life.”
KWSP, whom has previously worked in high performance engineering, is responsible for the design and manufacture of the pre-production printer and the integration of novel print head technology.
The first pre-production printer is expected to be completed by the end of 2017.