PDT an Astronics Company: Product Design and Development Firm in Chicago, IL

In the United States, 70% of citizens who are blind are unemployed or underemployed. However, 80% of those who use Braille are employed.” - Perkins School for the Blind

A classic needed updating for a new generation of visually impaired students.
Child using Classic Perkins Brailler

Perkins Next Generation Brailler

Needing an Update

The Classic Perkins Brailler has over 700 moving mechanical parts, took 10 years to invent, has become a critical part of visually impaired education around the world.. and Perkins entrusted PDT to update every detail.

map of global research locations

Ethnographic Research

PDT coordinated ethnographic research on a global scale to identify the current reach and new opportunities for Perkins.

girl using brailler prototype

Research Feedback

Research included returning for user feedback throughout the process. Not only did we get a read on the product details, but also the varying contexts in which it will live.

exploded view of Perkins Next Generation Brailler

Achieving the Goals

PDT identified how the goals of smaller size, weight, key force and various features could be achieved through new materials, configurations and thinking.

girl using Perkins Next Generation Brailler

Possibilities and Potential

The Perkins Next Generation Brailler is now being actively used in classrooms and homes around the world. Less force, less weight, less noise, more possibilities and the potential to bring Braille literacy into the 21st century.

About Product Development Technologies (PDT)

Product Development Technologies (PDT) is a global, full-service product design and development firm with 120 employees worldwide. Team members have expertise in a wide range of product development disciplines, including strategy, scouting, design research, industrial design, user experience development, mechanical and electrical engineering, software development, and sourcing. PDT’s award winning product designs have been recognized with more than 70 awards from authorities such as BusinessWeek, Fast Company, the Industrial Designers Society of America and The Consumer Electronics Association.

© 2018 PDT, an Astronics Company

PDT is a trademark of Astronics Corporation