Tactile Engineering manufactures the Cadence pill, which permits readers to entry technical diagrams and skim equations
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue Ventures, which manages three funds to assist Purdue College-connected startups, has invested $250,000 in Tactile Engineering Inc., an organization that has developed assistive instructional know-how to allow individuals affected by blindness and low imaginative and prescient.
Purdue Ventures’ funding is an element of a bigger $1.5 million funding spherical for Tactile Engineering that features investments from Elevate Ventures, Queen Metropolis Angels and personal people.
CEO Dave Schleppenbach stated the corporate’s Cadence tactile pill permits readers to entry as much as eight strains of digital Braille cells.
“College students, professionals and leisure readers can use Cadence to navigate lengthy equations and entry technical diagrams,” Schleppenbach stated. “A number of Cadence units could be linked to type bigger readable surfaces.”
Cadence’s refreshable show of digital cells makes use of customary Braille measurement, spacing and top. The modular cells are replaceable, and Tactile Engineering gives web-based assist instruments to allow distant calibration.
Schleppenbach stated Cadence can be utilized as an e-reader, a graphing calculator and a picture viewer.
“It downloads and shows books and paperwork in a variety of codecs,” Schleppenbach stated. “It duplicates the features of a standard scientific calculator and permits customers to pan, zoom and spotlight its tactile output. It additionally can be utilized as a picture viewer with animated, highlighted and interactive photographs to display scientific, geographic and different advanced topics.”
Further purposes are in growth, together with an online browser, classroom aids, annotation instruments, and notetaker and leisure software program. Cadence’s built-in Wi-Fi permits customers to obtain and set up new apps as they change into accessible.
Schleppenbach stated Tactile Engineering strongly helps the nationwide goal to strengthen Braille literacy. He stated literacy is crucial for gaining employment, particularly in high-demand technical and scientific roles.
“In keeping with the Nationwide Federation of the Blind, 70% of adults who’re blind are unemployed,” Schleppenbach stated. “Of these individuals with imaginative and prescient impairments who’re employed, 90% are Braille-literate.
“Though advances in voice management and speech synthesis may appear to supply an answer to office accessibility, such instruments can’t present entry to arithmetic, technical content material or graphics, all of that are very important for equal-opportunity STEM training and employment. The purpose of offering this entry drives the whole lot we do at Tactile Engineering.”
Schleppenbach stated the Purdue Ventures funding and the funding spherical will enable Tactile Engineering to put money into further capital gear, elements and labor to fabricate Cadence in bigger portions. He stated the corporate has different vital ties to Purdue.
“A number of of our founders and staff have a Purdue tutorial background; our authentic analysis within the area began whereas at Purdue,” Schleppenbach stated. “The Purdue Manufacturing Extension Partnership has been immensely useful in offering experience to develop our robotic meeting plant. Lastly, as a result of Cadence has an academic focus, Purdue could be an important avenue for us to develop accessible content material and check outcomes with college students.”
Riley Gibb, affiliate director of Purdue Ventures, stated Tactile Engineering is a robust addition to the funding portfolio.
“Tactile Engineering has robust connections to Purdue College analysis, which is a key qualifier for an funding,” Gibb stated. “We additionally recognize the corporate is serving an unmet want – strengthening studying within the STEM fields for people who find themselves affected by blindness and low imaginative and prescient – in a singular approach with the a number of purposes of its Cadence software.”
About Purdue Ventures
Purdue Ventures manages a number of swimming pools of capital in collaboration with the Purdue College entrepreneurial ecosystem and native companies, enabling Purdue startups to enhance the world. It has invested over $12 million since its formation. To assist varied applied sciences popping out of the college in addition to scholar or alumni founders, Purdue Ventures manages three funds, every with a special funding focus. Ag-Celerator funds startups trying to commercialize Purdue IP or Purdue “know-how” applied sciences associated to or impacting agriculture. The Foundry Funding Fund helps life science innovation by making as much as 30% of institutional capital investments made in Purdue-affiliated startups. The Purdue Startup Fund helps innovation commercialization by means of early-stage investments.
About Tactile Engineering
Tactile Engineering was based in 2013 with the purpose of creating and manufacturing an reasonably priced tactile graphics pill to be used by blind and visually impaired (B/VI) people world wide.
Author/Media contact: Steve Martin, firstname.lastname@example.org
Sources: Dave Schleppenbach, email@example.com
Riley Gibb, firstname.lastname@example.org