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Ingenious solution adds printed text to Braille and tactile graphic documents

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February 8, 2005

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February 9, 2005 A new printing attachment for Braille printers promises a new world for the sight-impaired and those who share their lives, enabling Braille documents to be shared with sighted colleagues, teachers, friends and family. The PIA prints the corresponding ink characters above or alongside the Braille embossing and allows for images to be embossed and printed. Anything that appears on the computer screen can quickly be made into a raised, printed image on paper with software translation of text to Braille in Microsoft Word and Excel.

ViewPlus' release of the Pro Ink Attachment (PIA) Solution for adding ink print to Braille text and tactile graphic documents is the result of long-term collaboration with Hewlett-Packard Specialty Printing Systems to incorporate HP Inkjet functionality into ViewPlus' professional series Braille printers.

Braille documents can now be shared with sighted colleagues, teachers, friends and family. The PIA prints the corresponding ink characters above or alongside the Braille embossing and allows for images to be embossed and printed. Anything that appears on the computer screen can quickly be made into a raised, printed image on paper.

Attaching the PIA instantly transforms the fast, robust ViewPlus Pro Braille printer into a high-speed embossing printer, creating the only compact integrated solution for high volume Braille and ink production. The PIA is the only embossing printer capable of double-sided Braille and ink printing thus saving paper costs in production.

"Braille readers often have difficulty communicating with sighted people at work and in the classroom," says Jeff Gardner, ViewPlus Vice President, Sales & Marketing. "Combining HP Inkjet with the ViewPlus Pro Embosser means Braille documents can now be shared with anyone."

"It is exciting and satisfying to be able to extend the value of any Hewlett-Packard solutions in supporting new users such as the visually impaired users segment," says Clay Higgins, Hewlett-Packard Director Sales and Marketing.

Pro Ink Attachment comes with software to translate text to Braille in MS Word and Excel. The Pro with PIA is also very quiet, so it can be used in a normal office environment and is now available at US$3995.

ViewPlus Technologies, Inc. is a private firm that develops and manufactures hardware and software for people with sensory disabilities, including people who are blind, low-vision, and learning disabled.

About the Author
Mike Hanlon Mike grew up thinking he would become a mathematician, accidentally started motorcycle racing, got a job writing road tests for a motorcycle magazine while at university, and became a writer. As a travelling photojournalist during his early career, his work was published in a dozen languages across 20+ countries. He went on to edit or manage over 50 print publications, with target audiences ranging from pensioners to plumbers, many different sports, many car and motorcycle magazines, with many more in the fields of communication - narrow subject magazines on topics such as advertising, marketing, visual communications, design, presentation and direct marketing. Then came the internet and Mike managed internet projects for Australia's largest multimedia company, Telstra.com.au (Australia's largest Telco), Seek.com.au (Australia's largest employment site), top100.com.au, hitwise.com, and a dozen other internet start-ups before founding Gizmag in 2002. Now he writes and thinks. All articles by Mike Hanlon
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