'Braille' software wins accolade at APICTA in China

The 'Braille Character Recognition and Translation Application', developed by the Centre for Research Development (CRD) won the second place (out of two awards) as the 'The Research and Development Project of the Year' at the 18th Asia Pacific ICT Awards (APICTA) ceremony held from 09 to 13 October in Guangzhou, China, recently.

The new software was developed by the CRD in order to provide solutions to difficulties faced by people with visual impairment, especially students, university undergrads, disable soldiers and others in the education and professional fields.

Utilizing modern technology towards an automated system, the cost-effective, all-in-one application captures, digitizes and translates Braille documents in their native language. The uniqueness of this system includes a solely developed special algorithm for optical Braille character recognition which can be easily adapted for any native language.

The software is a major breakthrough in this field as it provides an effective solution to communication challenges faced by the visually impaired. This application has widespread use at schools, higher educational institutes, military rehabilitation centers and also corporate sustainability organizations.

Sri Lanka was one among the 16 countries including Australia, Japan, Brunei, China, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Macao, Malaysia, Myanmar, Pakistan, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam that took part in the competition. The international event had attracted 776 competitors while 73 international judges also participated.

The Centre for Research and Development (CRD) was set up in 2006 in order to establish a world-class science and technology base. It operates under the aegis of the Ministry of Defence. Many of its innovations have come under recognition at various competitions over the years.

Some of its previous achievements include, Field Artillery Simulator System Silver Award and nominated for the APICTA in Brunei (2012), Hi - Tech Soldier Merit Award (2013), Global Disaster Risk Analysis Prevention and Mitigation Application Silver Award (2015) and Epidemic Survey Tracking System (ESTS) Silver Award and nominated for the APICTA in Taipei (2016).