Inventors in Japan have just created something which, from the scant description we've found online, appears to be along the lines of a stenographer's keyboard, but for blind people. Yazaki electronics has just built a one-pound keyboard with six keys that lets blind people take notes, storing the data on what we presume is a flash drive of some kind. Apparently when you type, the keyboard will speak each letter as a tone as you input them, and can be configured to type in Japanese, Chinese or Roman script (no word on how or if you can do multiple alphabets). The keyboard can then be hooked up to a computer (no idea on what kind of file it outputs), so that you can download your transcripts. Of course, all those features don't come cheap by any means -- we're talking ¥200,000 ($1,750), here, folks.

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Japanese inventors debut musical six-key keyboard for the blind