24.04.2019 change 24.04.2019

Kraków-based company is working on a communicator for the deafblind

Photo: Fotolia Photo: Fotolia

Kraków-based company Vasco is working on an innovative device that will help the deafblind (people with severe hearing and sight damage) communicate with the outside world. According to estimates, there are 7-8 thousand deafblind people in Poland.

According to Vasco Electronics CEO Maciej Góralski, the prototype developed on the basis of the communicator has been tested in cooperation with the Polish Association of the Deaf. The tests confirmed the possibility of simple communication with deafblind people and between them. Currently, the company is working on refining specific applications of the device and improving user comfort and functionality.

Communicating with Vasco Communicator will be possible thanks to the code developed by the company, similar to the Morse code. Communication can be as fast as typing on a traditional computer keyboard.

According to company representatives, the code consists of three characters marked on the device as A, B, C. Each word contains fewer characters than in the Morse code, which means that the communication with the Vasco code will be faster. Each character is also associated with a sound and frequency a deafblind person can identify by touching the loudspeaker.

The communicator`s functions developed by Vasco will allow for remote communication and access to electronic content converted automatically by the device. A single device will enable communication between a group of deafblind persons gathered in one room. The vibrations in the device, which correspond to specific characters, are transferred to almost any flat surface, for example a table. A deafblind person with knowledge of the Vasco code will read the message text by touching the table on which the communicator is placed.

According to the Deafblind Aid Society estimates, there are 7-8 thousand deafblind people in Poland. Some of them were born with this disability, others acquired it during their lifetime as a result of various diseases (including genetic ones), injuries or old age.

The deafblind are not able to compensate for sight damage with hearing like the blind do, or for hearing with sight like the deaf do. Therefore, performing everyday activities, maintaining contacts with other people, education and work require much more effort and commitment from them. They need the support of the environment, and in many cases also specialist help.

Vasco Electronics is an internationally active company that was founded in 2008 in Kraków. It specialises in designing, programming and production of technology and information solutions for mobile devices, including speech translators and travel assistants.

PAP - Science in Poland, Rafał Grzyb

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