Paul Dsouza is the man behind a number of
inventions, including the Tiffy Template, that have made life easier for
visually impaired people. His contributions have not gone unnoticed and he was
awarded the ‘National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People
(NCPEDP) – Mphasis Universal Design Award’ this year.
In 2015, Paul demonstrated his Refreshable Braille Display at Bengaluru’s first Maker Faire. This was followed by an affordable Braille e-reader, an advanced version of Touche – the refreshable Braille display – made in collaboration with Sapient in 2017.
Later that year, Paul started his company, Touchetech Labs, with the intention of developing technological advancements for people with disabilities. His company’s Braille Cell Modules are used by the likes of Thinkerbell Labs and Vembi Technologies, which use them in their products.
In conversation with News 18 Paul said, “From childhood, I was interested in understanding how things work. My mother encouraged me to pursue my passion and I started out by making small toys and tools. Clocks fascinated me and clockmaker John Harrison was my idol. In 1998, in a competition conducted by Swiss watchmaker Breguet, I won the runner-up award for designing a mechanical perpetual calendar for clocks and watches.”
The inventor added, “I was an avid reader of all the Encyclopedia editions in our school library and was not a big fan of formal education. I have studied electronics engineering, but never collected the degree.”
His cabinet boasts of the ‘Innovation for Good’ award conferred by Lund University (Sweden) in 2016, ‘Shaping the Future’ Award by National Geographic in 2010 and the Elevate 100 Award by the Karnataka government in 2017.
Paul’s latest invention named ‘Bisector Arcs’ will help visually impaired children understand and study geometry.
The tools in the geometry kit consist of a tactile ruler, tactile compass, tactile protractor and his latest invention ‘Bisector Arcs’. The kit can be used on ordinary paper as well as parchment drawing material.
Bisector Arcs were invented upon the request of Neha
Trivedi from Xavier’s Resource Centre for the Visually Challenged in Mumbai.