Blitab Technology :createing tablet for the blind and visually impaired

Blitab Technology develops tablet for the blind and visually impaired
Blitab, a tablet with a Braille interface, looks like a promising step up for blind and low vision people who want to be part of the educational, working and entertainment worlds of digital life.
A video of the Blitab Technology founder, Kristina Tsvetanova, said the idea for such a tablet came to her during her studies as an industrial engineer. At the time, a blind colleague of hers asked her to sign him for an online course and a question nagged her: How could technology help him better?
Worldwide, she said, there are more than 285 million blind and visually impaired people.
She was aware that in general blind and low vision people were coping with old, bulky technology, contributing to low literacy rates among blind children. She and her team have been wanting to change that.
There was ample room for improvements. The conventional interfaces for the blind, she said, have been slow and expensive. She said the keyboard can range from about $5000 to $8000. Also, she said, they are limited to what the blind person can read, just a few words at a time. Imagine, she said, reading Moby Dick, five words at a time.
They have engineered a with a 14-line Braille display on the top and a touch screen on the bottom.

Part of their technology involves a high performance membrane, and their press statement said the tablet uses smart micro fluids to develop small physical bubbles instead of a screen display.
They have produced a tactile tablet, she said, where people with sight loss can learn, work and play using that device.
The user can control the tablet with voice-over if the person wants to listen to an ebook or by pressing one button, dots will be activated on the screen and the surface of the screen will change.
Romain Dillet, in TechCrunch: "The magic happens when you press the button on the side of the device. The top half of the device turns into a Braille reader. You can load a document, a web page—anything really—and then read the content using Braille."
Tsvetanova told Dillet, "We're not excluding voice over; we combine both of these things." She said they offer both "the tactile experience and the voice over experience."
Rachel Metz reported in MIT Technology Review: "The Blitab's Braille display includes 14 rows, each made up of 23 cells with six dots per cell. Every cell can present one letter of the Braille alphabet. Underneath the grid are numerous layers of fluids and a special kind of membrane," she wrote.

Blitab Technology develops tablet for the blind and visually impaired
Credit: Blitab
At heart, it's an Android tablet, Dillet said, "so it has Wi-Fi and Bluetooth and can run all sorts of Android apps."
Metz said that with eight hours of use per day, it's estimated to last for five days on one battery charge.
The tablet team have set a price to this device, at $500.
How they will proceed: First, she said they will sell directly from their web site, then scale through global distributors, and distribute to less developed world.
What's next? Dillet said in the Jan.6 article that "the team of 10 plans to ship the in six months with pre-orders starting later this month."
Blitab Technology recently took first place in the Digital Wellbeing category of the 2016 EIT Digital Challenge. EIT Digital is described as a European open innovation organization. They seek to foster digital innovation and entrepreneurial talent.

credit ;Nancy Owano 
SpaceX set to launch for first time since Sept blast

SpaceX set to launch for first time since Sept blast

Falcon 9
the above picture is the Falcon 9 rocket
SpaceX is poised to blast off a Falcon 9 rocket on Saturday, marking its first return to flight since a costly and complicated launchpad explosion in September.
The launch of 10 satellites for Iridium, a mobile and data communications company, is scheduled from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California at 9:54 am (1754 GMT).
The launch window is "instantaneous," meaning that any technical glitch or poor weather—the current forecast is just 60 percent favorable—would push the launch forward to the next opportunity on Sunday at 1749 GMT.
The stakes for SpaceX are high after a pair of accidents.
September's blast destroyed a $200 million satellite Facebook had planned to use to beam high-speed internet to Africa. Another explosion in June 2015 two minutes after liftoff obliterated a Dragon packed with goods bound for the astronauts at the International Space Station.
The incidents cost SpaceX dearly, possibly pushing the privately owned company into the red, the Wall Street Journal reported this week.
"That June 2015 disaster, followed by months of launch delays, contributed to a quarter-billion dollar annual loss and a six percent drop in revenue, after two years of surging sales and small profits," the paper said after a review of internal financial documents from 2011 to 2015, forecasts for the next decade and interviews with former SpaceX employees.
Three weeks after last September's accident, the company removed a long-standing phrase from its website saying it was "profitable and cash-flow positive."
That "suggest(ed) both profit and cash flow had moved into the red for 2016," the Journal said, noting that it found an operating loss for every quarter in 2016 and negative cash flow of roughly $15 million.
SpaceX, headed by billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk, declined to comment on the findings and is not obligated to release its financial figures because it is a private company, the report said.
"The company is in a financially strong position and is well positioned for future growth," with $1 billion in cash and no debt, SpaceX chief financial officer Bret Johnson was quoted as saying.

Problems fixed
The June 2015 accident—in which the unmanned Dragon cargo ship exploded in a massive fireball two minutes after launch—was caused by a faulty strut that allowed a helium tank to snap loose, SpaceX said.
Last September's explosion, during a test a day prior to a scheduled launch, was traced to a problem with a pressure vessel in the second-stage liquid oxygen tank.
SpaceX said it will change the way it fuels for now and redesign its pressure vessels in the future.
Musk, who cofounded PayPal and also owns Tesla Motors, has lofty goals, including colonizing Mars and revolutionizing the launch industry by making rocket components reusable.
Founded in 2002, SpaceX logged 18 successful launches of the Falcon 9 before the 2015 accident.
The company has a $1.6 billion contract with NASA to supply the International Space Station using its Dragon space capsule, which is the only cargo ship that can return to the Earth intact.
SpaceX had hoped to resume Falcon 9 flights as early as November, then in mid-December, before pushing the date to January.