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Braille Label Maker Named U.S. People’s Choice Winner in James Dyson Awards


The efficient, ergonomic machine that it is the James Dyson Foundation is applying suction of the highest quality to select the winner of this year’s James Dyson Award, which recognizes young designers’ problem-solving products. While the big announcement is still a few weeks (and a rapidly shrinking global shortlist) away, we wanted to highlight the winner of the People’s Choice Award for the United States (one of 21 global regions in the competition): the 6dot Braille Labeler, designed by MIT students Adelaide Calbry-Muzyka, Josh Karges, Karina Pikhart, Maria Prus, Trevor Shannon, and Rachel Tatem. It’s a P-Touch for the visually impaired, electronically embossing Braille into commercially-available adhesive labeling tape, using a standard Braille keyboard. Devised by a team of undergraduates in the fall of 2008, the Braille labeler is now in its second working prototype, informed by feedback from engineers, blind people, and those who work with the blind. “We have at least two companies seriously interested in manufacturing and distribution, a provisional patent filed, and we are in the process of raising funds to make full production a reality,” noted the students in their entry. Let’s see it in action…

As the American entry with the most public votes, the 6dot Braille Labeler advances automatically to the next round of judging, where it joins the ten projects selected for the U.S. National Shortlist by I.D. Magazine editor-in-chief Jesse Ashlock and Frank Tyneski, former executive director of the ISDA:

  • Prio Paper Cast
  • Air Guitar: Packaging as a durable Product
  • Fresh, the Shrinking Milk Jug
  • Galileo
  • Rise Student Desk
  • Styrofoam Beach Cleanup
  • Squeezo: Recyclable Trash Compaction
  • Elizabowl
  • The Access: Inclusive Fitness Equipment
  • Rollie Pollie Cleaner
  • Mediabistro Course

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