January 18, 2019

6dot Innovations Debuts New Portable Braille Labeler

White portable Braille printer with black buttons6dot Innovations is launching a new, battery-powered, portable Braille labeler which can quickly print out Braille labels. The labels are well suited for prescription bottles, microwave touchpads, canned foods, and just about anything else that needs a label.

6dot founder and chief executive Karina Pikhart said that, while there are a number of other Braille labelers on the market, they tend to be too big and bulky to take along to the pharmacy for example.

The company is based in Palo Alto, California. They have already sold out their first production run of the electro-mechanical labeler which embosses small adhesive labels that stick to just about anything, Pikhart said. She said 6dot is seeking to target the 37 million people worldwide who are blind and will expand to serve the 650 million people around the world with disabilities.

The battery-powered labeler can be an important tool for helping blind people be independent in their everyday lives, Pikhart said. You can connect a standard keyboard to the device so that people who are not Braille literate, such as parents and teachers, can also create labels.

Pikhart, a first-time entrepreneur, started working on the idea at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in a product design class in the fall of 2008. She and two other co-founders, Trevor Shannon and Robert Liebert, developed the original prototypes. They won several contests, including the MIT Ideas Award, the ASNE Mechanical Innovation Showcase, and Stanford University’s product showcase. 6dot is currently raising funds through a Kickstarter campaign.

6dot has received design consultation from the Perkins School and Michael May of Sendero Group. They expect the labeler to sell for about $200 and to begin shipping in the next several weeks.