Charandeep Singh Kapoor / National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad, India
Blind Association, Ahmedabad, India
A simple and elegant product with beautiful utility. It plays a clever and direct role in protecting blind people during transactions.
“Notex” Wristband is a Money Identification solution for the Visually Impaired population of India. It comprises of a spring steel strip with four kinks arranged according to the difference in length’s of the
Indian Rupees Bills. One end of Notex is round while the other is straight so, that the blind person know’s which side it is. To identify the bill Visually Impaired people need their sense of touch to feel at which kink the bill ends when its laid straight along the length of the strip.
One of the most common problems faced by the Visually Impaired population is money handling and
Identification. Indian Rupee bills are not provided with Braille or any other provision to aid money identification by the blind. With majority of blind population coming under the poverty line in India challenge was coming up with a solution which is cheap and can be Mass produced. Although the blind have developed skills to counter this issue, their are still chances of error or getting cheated which can be embarrassing and lead to loss of confidence in doing daily routine tasks such as going to the market, purchasing vegetables etc. Another challenge involved was identification of pattern involved in money handling and use by the Blind, which bills cause the most confusion in use ? Through this project I wish to improve the confidence level of the blind when it comes to money handling and reduce fear of getting cheated among this society. Making them more Independent.
My aim was coming up with a simple solution which doesn’t use any technology So, in a way making it more Affordable and aid mass production. A device which can work along side the skills of the blind improving them with time.4. The Process: Describe the rigor that informed your project. (Research, ethnography, subject matter experts, materials exploration, technology, iteration, testing, etc., as applicable.) What stakeholder interests did you consider? (Audience, business, organization, labor, manufacturing, distribution, etc., as applicable)
The process involved intense research in a blind persons way of life, understanding of the challenges they face in a daily routine. Several tests were conducted with young and adults in which they were made to identify different rupee bills and coins in order to understand which bills cause the most confusion. Many other solutions were generated. Several prototypes were made and circulated through out the blind organisations in Ahmedabad for testing and development.5. The Value: How does your project earn its keep in the world? What is its value? What is its impact? (Social, educational, economic, paradigm-shifting, sustainable, environmental, cultural, gladdening, etc.)
Notex adds value to the lives of the visually impaired by empowering them to carry-on their daily routine with confidence and less fear of getting cheated while shopping etc. Along with being cost effective it trains a blind person to get better in the art of money identification, just like prolonged use of a scale improves us with dimensions.6. How can you be sure that the values you are advancing are desired by the community you are working with?
37 billion is the visually impaired population of the world and 15 million are Indians and 90% of those fall below poverty line. With no provisions done by the government the blind have been facing issues with money identification for a long time. Although a certain set of skill are imparted to the blind in schools and blind organisations, but still chances of error are prominent among the young and inexperienced and even adults can get confused between two bills, identifying bills also takes a lot of time without the aid of a device. A solution which can provide them surety, save time when it comes to money handling and be affordable is most desired.7. How will your project remain economically and operationally sustainable in the long term?
Notex doesn’t use any thing other than a spring steel strip with punched kinks and thin polymer coating which makes it super affordable and aids mass production. Its doesn’t require any maintenance, Is light weight and can be carried at all time on your wrist . Notex can also use spring steel of used measuring tapes.