NID Graduates Innovation Aids Visually Impaired Identify Currency
NID Graduates Low-Cost Innovation – India’s government announced demonetisation in 2016. This rendered the Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes useless. While many people battled to have their old notes swapped for the new ones, there was another issue that arose as a result.
Visually handicapped people who were accustomed to recognising older currencies had to learn and acclimatise to the new notes, which came in a variety of sizes. While some partially blind people claim to have identified higher denominations based on their length, others claim to have done so based on colour. Aside from that, previous currencies featured braille impressions.
The troubles with the new ones, on the other hand, were real. They come in a variety of sizes, patterns, and colours. Despite the fact that the Reserve Bank of India has released a mobile app to recognise these currencies, not everyone has access to technology. Even if they did, many people found it impossible to utilise the app while shopping or going outside.
Mani Teja Lingala and Mrudul Chilmulwar, both of the National Institute of Design (NID), Ahmedabad, created ‘Drishti’ to bridge this gap and provide people with a long-term answer. This is a pocket-sized sheet that assists visually impaired people in recognising money notes.
This device is small, fits in a wallet, and does not rely on braille or other complicated technology. It uses two factors – width and height – to assist visually impaired people in recognising money notes.
Mani and Mrudul were studying a module about product design for people with special needs during their last year of study at NID. The duo spoke to a large number of individuals at Ahmedabad‘s Blind People’s Association as part of the course.
“We began on the goal of discovering a remedy for those with visual impairment with the support and guidance of our instructor Gayatri Menon. During this period, we spoke with a number of people in order to gain a better understanding of the challenges they confront on a daily basis. “We discovered that the majority of them had difficulty identifying currencies,” Mani Teja explains.
One anonymous source claims that he would distinguish currencies by assessing the length of each note. He has been deceived on occasion since he has misjudged the amount in a rush. He’d ask a bystander or a shopkeeper to identify the currency to avoid any confusion.
Another partially blind lady at the centre would previously identify notes based on colour differences. The new notes, on the other hand, are of a similar colour and are difficult to distinguish.
“Mrudul and I discussed what we could do,” Mani says. Because people in rural regions cannot read braille, we had to rule out utilising it.”
A low-cost solution by NID Graduates
Finally, the two decided to use plastic to create a template. This could be used to identify the price of the currency notes.
“We chose polypropylene plastic sheets because they are robust, flexible, and waterproof,” Mani explains.
So, how does it function? When a banknote is set against this template, Mani says that if the width of the note exceeds the pattern, it is an old note, but if it is within the template, it is a new one.
“There are three edges on the top (like steps) to distinguish depending on height to know the denomination,” Mani explains, adding that the product’s design was completed the same year.
Drishti is a patented design that has been a finalist in the Lexus Design Awards and The James Dyson Award 2020. It is priced at Rs 2.
The team was unable to deliver their devices due to the lockdown. However, once the situation improved, it was handed to the Blind People Association’s members. Contact Mani Teja at email@example.com if you want to place an order or know someone who will benefit from Dishti.
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