The following is the text of my response to Elliot Schreier's
comments on the Braille FAX proposal and his request for
information about the '94 R&D Committee meeting.
National Federation of the Blind
Research & Development Committee
4424 Brookhaven Avenue
Louisville, KY 40220
December 3, 1993
To: elliot m. schreier
CC: Mark Maurer et al
It is certainly OK to comment on the proposed Braille FAX machine, or
anything else that moves you.
The Braille FAX (BF) will certainly be expensive. The first of anything
usually is. What's more, the BF will stay a bit 2pricey because of the cost
of Braille embossers. The good news is that most anyone wanting a BF will
already have an embosser, or should have a lot of other needs for one. I bet
there will be some people who justify buying a braille printer so that they
can have a BF only to find that the embosser is a lot more useful for other
We also recognize that the first BF will not do a great job-- do to the
limitations of today's OCR technology. I'm sure that you know that OCR is
better now than it has ever been and that further progress in this area is
The R&D Committee will convene at 8:30 a.m. on January 29, 1993, at the
National Center for the Blind. You are welcome to attend, and you can have
a spot for a brief presentation, if you have something hot to tell us.
Here are a few items that will be discussed:
Jim Fruchterman will divulge the deep mysteries of the workings of a new
product in the pipeline at Arkenstone. Like I say, it's a mystery; I can't
tell you more about it because of our non-disclosure agreement. I bet you
could get Jim to tell you about it, if you leaned on him a bit.
The BF machine will get some attention. Lloyd Rasmussen has expressed some
interest in this project and I'm hoping he'll adopt it as his management
responsibility; in any case, Lloyd can be expected to have a lot of good
ideas about how to produce the prototype.
Dr. Snider will give an update on the Electronic Newspaper project sponsored
by WGBH in Boston. Harold will also report and stimulate discussion on
access to the "Communications Super Highway" by handicapped Americans. He
has his finger on the pulse of the Administration on this matter -- or is it
the other way round?
Here are a few other items on our discussion list:
Robert Jaquiss on Map making, stereolithography, photopolymers, etc.
Jaquiss on Numerically controlled carving machines.
Deane gives an overview of the process of developing a product from concept
Brian Buhrow on the unix box, the Speaqualizer anon
Brian will also report on the GUI meeting at Standford -- if there is
anything of substance to report.
I'll talk about our infrared link project that I mentioned in my presentation
to the U.S./Canada conference. I think I might also bring along a few FM
digital link transceivers operating in the 960 MHZ range. Put one on a
laptop for the teacher and one on each of a roomful of Braille Lites and ...
you can fill in the blank. I wonder if Deane could be persuaded to bring a
roomful of Braille Lites to the meeting, hmmmm.
Don't consider the above as an agenda. They are entries from
notes I have made for myself and may change before the time of the meeting.
C U There
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