Demonstrations and Tests of Prototypes
We have publically demonstrated Canute to hundreds of Braille users and professionals, across the UK, Ireland and the USA. We did our first public demonstration of a Canute prototype in the summer of 2014, in Bristol, to members of the Braillists. This was the Mk5, which had four lines of twelve cells each. Since then we have done numerous public and private demonstrations.
Following very positive feedback from early Mk6 trials the device was deemed by the Braillists to be ready to be tested by users in their own homes. Over June and July 2015 BBT worked with the Bristol and Reading Braillists groups to ensure Canute units were tested by dozens of blind users in their own homes. We have repeated these home trials with the Mk9 and will begin again with the Mk10 later in 2016. Their feedback has been worked into the design of the next models.
For the Mk10 we will also be running long term tests in New College Worcester and Child Vision, Dublin. We would love to hear from other schools interested in taking part in these trials.
For us, this is not a matter of seeking publicity. We show the prototypes that don’t work as well as the ones that do, we take early concepts to meetings and ask Braille users to suggest what direction we should take with them. The Canute demos are first and foremost opportunities for the engineers to be informed by and debate with Braille users.
Please contact us to arrange a demonstration or find out when one is next scheduled. If you would like be a part of the home testing programmes please join the Braillists newsletter and forums.
Notable Canute Demonstrations in 2014
Format: Prototype model | location | audience | date
- Mk5 (twelve cells by four lines, or 24 cells in total) | PM Studio, Watershed, Bristol, UK | Braillists | Summer 2014
- Mk5 | PM Studio, Watershed, Bristol, UK | Studio Lunchtime Talk visitors | November 2014
- Mk5 replica (superior quality Braille) | NCBI Centre, Dublin, Ireland | Irish National Braille & Alternative Format Association and Braillists | January 2015
- Mk6 (28x4 = 112 cells, first stand-alone Braille e-reader that could be loaded with users’ books) | PM Studio, Watershed, Bristol, UK | Braillists | May 2015
- Mk6 replica (identical to Mk6) | Friendly Society Meeting House, Reading, UK | Braillists | May 2015
- Mk6 and Mk6 replica | Sight Village Birmingham, UK | conference attendees | July 2015
- Mk6 | NCBI Centre, Dublin, Ireland | Irish National Braille & Alternative Format Association and Braillists | July 2015
- Mk6 replica | Stationers’ Hall, London | Information Technologists | July 2015
- Mk6 replica | Sight Village London, UK | conference attendees and Braillists | July 2015
- Mk8 (32x8 = 256 cells, rapid line-by-line refresh, simple display rather than e-reader) | California State University Northridge Accessible Technology Conference, San Diego, USA | conference attendees | March 2016
- Mk8 | PM Studio, Watershed, Bristol, UK | Braillists | April 2015
- Mk8 | PM Studio, Watershed, Bristol, UK | Studio Lunchtime Talk visitors | April 2016
- Mk8 | Friendly Society Meeting House, Reading, UK | Braillists | May 2016
- Mk9 (32x8 = 256 cells, 99.8% accuracy, stand alone e-reader with improved button interface) | National Federation for the Blind Centre, Baltimore, USA | 6th International Council for English Braille and National Federation for the Blind | May 2016
- Mk9 | American Printing House for the Blind Centre, Louisville, USA | American Printing House | May 2016
- Mk9 | Perkins School for the Blind, Cambridge, USA | Perkins Solutions | June 2016
- Mk9 | National Braille Press Centre, Boston, USA | National Braille Press | June 2016
- Mk9 | Bates, Wells & Braithwaite, London, UK | Stephen Lloyd Awards | June 2016
- Mk9 | Sight Village Birmingham, UK | conference attendees | July 2016
Format: Prototype model | testers | date
- Mk6 and Mk6 replica | Braillists | June 2015
- Mk6 | National Council for the Blind of Ireland | July 2015
- Mk9 | Braillists | May 2016
- Mk10 | New College Worcester | TBA
- Mk10 replica 1 | Child Vision | TBA
- Mk10 replica 2 | TBA | TBA
- Mk10 replica 3 | TBA | TBA
“It’s something phenomenal. I’m already in love with this, and I’m not really a Braille person. I gave up Braille many years ago but this would definitely intrigue me… I’m completely blown away by this.”
— Andre Louis, June 2015