Pearl Academy student creates a new way for the visually impaired to read

Mumbai: With a belief that everyone should be able to do the things they love, Ananya Priya, a Product Design student at Pearl Academy, showcased a device that enables blind people to read novels. “Read it: Because it matters” is a one-of-a-kind portable device that scans text into speech.
Growing up, Ananya always had a close bond with her grandfather and his best friend, who lost his vision at the age of 16 due to cataract problems. She recalls him telling her how fond he was of reading and how much he missed it.
While thinking about her final project idea, Ananya decided to create a device that enables blind people to have reading abilities, in a different way. She did extensive research for the project and created this smart electronic device that scans text into speech using a combination of six different intelligence software. The device has two speakers for narrating sound and can be carried from one place to another, making it perfect for use on-the-go.
“I wanted to create something unique and functional. It was very important to me to help blind people, because growing up I’d watched my grandfather’s friend struggle to experience books he used to love reading. My aim with this project was to give the user something cost-effective. Other devices like this cost around 2-2.5 lakhs. What is the point of making something that users can’t afford? I wanted to ensure that my device mattered, and so it costs less than Rs. 5,000 and can be used anywhere.”
‘Pearl Portfolio’, has been Pearl Academy’s annual launch pad showcasing the work of graduating students every year. In recent times, Pearl students have showcased their work at other prominent platforms, events, festivals and fashion weeks in India as well as abroad, including Pune Design Festival, FOAID, Dubai Design Festival, Amazon Fashion Week, New York Fashion Week, and London Graduate Fashion Week.
Commenting on the occasion, Prof. Nandita Abraham, President, Pearl Academy said, “This is the 4th batch of graduating students from Pearl Academy, Mumbai and I am amazed to see the creative maturity of our students in finding solutions to real-world problems. Pearl Academy has provided students with a culture of innovation, design and creative thinking along with the right mentors to make them successful in their chosen fields. The Mumbai faculty and students are very special and have outshone themselves year after year. I would also like to congratulate the Campus Director, Ajay Sawhney, Deans of Schools of Design, Fashion, Business and Media and all the faculty members of Pearl Academy, Mumbai for bringing out the best in students.”