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ICMR-Supported NCAHT Launches Assistive Technology Products for Visually Impaired

National Center for Assistive Technology (NCAHT), supported by Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), launched a wide range of assistive technology products for the visually impaired at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi .


Assistive technology for people who are blind or visually impaired

Innovations in assistive technology included: Shapescapes (a geometry learning kit), high-quality white canes, and an accessible kit for STEM education. ‘Shapescape’ is a geometry learning kit to overcome the challenges faced by visually impaired students in teaching/learning geometry concepts.

NCAHT has created a kit that allows students to use it on a DIY basis. This low-cost assistive aid is designed with universal design principles in mind and can be used by sighted, low vision, and visually impaired students.

He ‘white cane’ is a critical assistive technology used by visually impaired people for independent and safe mobility (1 Reliable source
White canes: What you need to know

Go to source). Kenstel Communications, in collaboration with IIT Delhi, has developed a high-quality white cane, which has been an unmet need for a long time.

Furthermore, the ‘Accessible STEM Education Kit’ has been developed to overcome the challenges faced by visually impaired students in learning electronics concepts such as logic gates, electronic components, circuits, etc. The kit also includes a self-study book with concepts explained. through tactile diagrams, large print and Braille. Both products will be manufactured by Raised Lines Foundation, a non-profit social enterprise of IIT Delhi.

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NCAHT also announced that large-scale user testing of SmartCane Version 2 and Refreshable Braille Display has begun. These innovations, jointly created with Saksham Trust, Delhi, will empower the visually impaired in their independent mobility and education.


SmartCane for the blind

SmartCane is an electronic travel aid and is currently used by around 150,000 people in India and abroad (2 Reliable source
smart cane

Go to the source

). SmartCane Version 2 is an improved version of the previous product. It has been developed with improved usability and user experience and has overcome additional pain points for users and obsolescence.


TacRead Refreshable Braille Display

Additionally, IIT Delhi’s Assistech Laboratory, in collaboration with Phoenix Medical Systems and Saksham Trust, has developed tacread, a new refreshable Braille technology, which allows visually impaired users to access digital text from various sources in Braille format. With this technology, a visually impaired person, for example, can access any book in Braille format from Sugmya Pustakalaya, India’s first and largest collection of accessible books.


  1. White canes: What you need to know – (https://www.visionaustralia.org/news/2019-10-15/bastones-blancos-lo-que-necesitas-saber)
  2. smart cane – (https://assistech.iitd.ac.in/smartcane.php)


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