July 17, 2006 Samsung’s “Touch Messenger” mobile phone for the visually impaired has landed a Gold Award at the Industrial Design Excellence Awards (IDEA). The innovative Touch Messenger enables the visually impaired users to send and receive Braille text messages. The 3-4 button on the cell phone is used as two Braille keypads and text messages can be checked through the Braille display screen in the lower part. Once this product is commercialized, it is expected to dramatically boost the quality of life for visually impaired people, numbering as many as 180 million worldwide.
The “Touch Messenger” is a product designed by Samsung Design China based in Shanghai , China , a country with about 9 million visually impaired people. The product is assessed as a successful result of Samsung's global design strategy, That is, products suited for local needs and characteristics should be designed and planned by obtaining inspiration from local markets in countries around the world.
Samsung’s success in the IDEA Awards, one of the world's most authoritative design competitions, continues to go from strength to strength, with this year’s haul of one Gold and two Silver awards bringing its total number of IDEA Awards to 35 awards over the last decade – more than any other company.
Samsung also won Silver Awards for its wireless Portable Digital Projector (Design Explorations category) and its portable Pocket Imager SP-P300MK projector (Business & Industrial Products category). The SP-P300MK portable projector is the first in the world designed to be operated with a rechargeable battery so it is the world's smallest DLP (Digital Lighting Processing) projector that can be used anywhere, even where there is no mains power connection.