Braigo Labs™ Launches “Braigo™ Platform” Web ApplicationShubham Banerjee
(Braigo Labs) – One of the biggest and most common challenges today faced by the visually impaired community worldwide is information consumption in the Internet age. Information is often visual-based, whether on the Internet or in our daily lives. While many companies and nonprofit organizations have invested in creating multiple different tools over time, many are standalone solutions and require upfront training. Some come with a hefty price tag while others are free. Existing screen readers or accessibility tools on our computers today are not able to explain what an image says. This challenge extends across multiple languages and countries.
Braigo Labs feels that technology can bridge the gap by creating a software platform for the visually impaired. We embarked on a journey to create one platform for accessibility needs with a roadmap that will try to integrate new and existing technologies as a complete solution under the Braigo Platform umbrella.
Braigo is proud to share with the community today the beta version of our BRAIGO™ PLATFORM web application for use by anyone who requires accessibility solutions for the visually impaired. Available for free on the Braigo website (www.braigolabs.com), the Braigo Platform marks the industry’s first step toward providing an integrated software solution approach for the visually impaired. The first of its kind, the integrated platform features multi-language support (over 50 languages), the creation of a user library for sharing, an automatic OCR text extraction.
“This is our step towards the right direction, based on the numerous and overwhelming feedback we received over time,” says Shubham Banerjee, founder of Braigo Labs. “We are looking at Braigo as a whole product that creates, supports and expands an ecosystem for the visually impaired. Not simply as a standalone software or hardware tool. As I mentioned in this video about my journey with Braigo, we can start changing people’s life.”
With the Braigo Platform, users can extract text from images from a wide variety of sources, whether the images are from the web, from your phone, or from complex documents. Whether it’s advertisements from billboards, restaurant menus, or bus schedules, the tool makes it easy for users to extract text from any images. Through the Braigo Platform web application, users can upload content, access previously uploaded content, subscribe and view news feeds, and browse from Braigo’s public library.
We founded Braigo Labs in 2014 with the idea of building a low-cost Braille printer to help give over 200 million blind people an affordable way to read. Braille printers today cost over $2,000; Braigo aims to lower the cost to $500. The Braigo Platform extends that vision in creating an ecosystem that gives more people access to read.
We’ve included more details and videos about the Braigo Platform below, along with user feedback from early testers.
Industry’s first step toward achieving our main goal of an integrated platform.
The Braigo Platform aims to solve four key problems commonly experienced by the visually impaired.
PROBLEM: No integrated solution
There are different tools available from different vendors that require a visually impaired person to be trained. Some of the screen readers are able to voice over the content depending on the format. But, in this Internet age if you want to consume content by downloading from different sources, this can be challenging. This becomes even more acute if the content is in different languages. BRAIGO PLATFORM FEATURES:
PROBLEM: Sharing information is difficult.
Sharing of information among the Blind community can be challenging. Many use social media to share information or through emails. Currently there are no single digital library available where users can go to a single website and consume user generated content. BRAIGO PLATFORM FEATURES:
Note: Braigo Labs Terms of Service does not support Copyright Violations of content by users.
PROBLEM: Reading the news.
All news articles from all over the world is now at your fingertips on the web. Visually impaired persons rely on social media channels or specific websites to read through news. BRAIGO PLATFORM FEATURE:
PROBLEM: Lack of cloud offerings.
Carrying your computer all the time with you can be a daunting task. There are many portable devices that are available for users and if a user needs to save their private documents securely and have it available with them wherever they go gives them an extra level of independence. BRAIGO PLATFORM FEATURE:
WHAT USERS ARE SAYING ABOUT THE BRAIGO PLATFORM
In releasing Braigo Platform beta, we asked users from all over the world (across six countries and four continents and multiple languages) to conduct rigorous testing and to check the feasibility and user experience of the platform.
“Among all the websites and tools I’ve come across, the Braigo Platform is the only website that is free for everyone, contains support for multiple languages, and so easy to use for a blind or visually impaired user.”
Henry (Hoby) Wedler, Braigo Labs advisor
“Project Starfish is all about creating employment for professionals with disabilities, especially those who are visually impaired, solving the exceptional high unemployment rates that exist today. The world is moving to an information-based services model, in which newly trained workers with disabilities are trained to support contemporary small businesses, startups and corporations with cutting edge industry knowledge. Because the Braigo Platform is cloud-based, it’s integrated, scalable, collaborative and intuitive. Adopting the cloud-based Braigo Platform can empower millions of educated professionals who are blind and looking for opportunities. Simply put, the platform is revolutionary in the digital age and will help create millions of contemporary workers out of professionals who are visually impaired. A perfect example of technology solving social problems.”
Subhashish Acharya, Founder, Project Starfish
“It’s absolutely a great platform and game changer. Simple, straightforward, elegant and user-friendly to new users and screen readers. I have uploaded a local language document (Malay) and selected English instead of Malay and it seems to work extremely well.”
Aleena Che Ramli (@schatzdame), Malaysia
“It’s a great platform, simple and really elegant to navigate. I was able to register with Facebook ID without any issue. When I upload PDF documents containing both text and images like graphs and chemical formulas (Since I have a PhD in Chemistry), It was able to read the text part. I was thrilled! Of course, getting a graphical read would be a great feature for future release. This platform makes my life a lot easier since the information about chemistry for example on the web can be automatically uploaded helping me become independent. The elegance lies in sharing created content, to be re-used across millions. That’s a paradigm shift! To save time, prevent frustration and leverage existing content is what we need to become work savvy professionals and be equal as any other in society.”
Dr. B.S.M Kumar, PhD, IIT Chennai (@bsmkumar1), India
“Language selections are good. I tried with English,and even Hebrew, Urdu,Tamil and Telegu ( Indian languages). It works well. Basic options of uploading docs – pdf,jpg or jpeg works and it goes on print. How cool!”
C.A.S. Vijay Kumar (@casvijaykumar2), India
“The website is simple to use, even for beginners. For advanced users like me who offer cutting edge business research from Philippines to worldwide businesses, I am now even more competitive, because visual barriers are slowly melting away to create a much better accessible world of equal opportunities for me. It’s a dream for the ambitious visually impaired”
Kriza Gonzales (@krizagonzales1) , Philippines
“I would like to thank Braigo Labs for including the translation of the language of the Philippines and most specially Cebuano dialect. I would like to also say that their website and technology will be a big help to the blind students and professionals here in our country in the near future.”
Mark Homez (@markhomez), Philippines
“Managing business research and re-use of business documents is a breeze now. It’s so exciting, I can work and manage my team from anywhere as long I am connected to the internet! True Equality! The cloud platform does change everything.”
Nasreen Bhutta (@nasreen1968), Canada