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RFI Clarification Questions Submitted By Respondents

  • The target device will be small enough to fit in a child’s backpack and light enough for a 7 year-old to carry from class to class.

    The existing dimensions of the Graphiti tested were 11X11.5 Inches with a tactile array size of 6X10.  The tactile array size was acceptable to testers, while it was requested to have such a tactile surface in a smaller footprint.  The thickness was acceptable at 1.25 inches.

  • Obviously the faster the refresh rate the better for such a tool.  The focus here is that the user does not notice a lengthy refresh rate.  Whether that is accomplished by refreshing only necessary pins, if a pin approach is used, or create an entire surface refresh rate process.  Ideally the entire surface could be refreshed in less than 1 second. We are open to hearing alternative suggestions.

  • It is realistic that a subsidized quota price would be different than the non-quota price.  The ideal quota price would be no more than $5,000.  We understand that such a price may not be achievable at launch, and APH will work with the Department of Education and other funders to find ways to subsidize this important educational tool.

  • The term page size, in this case  refers to the pin array.  APH, during its time testing with the Graphiti determined a pin array of 2400 pins was sufficient for students to interpret content.  If the graphic was too large relative to the pin array, the user should be able to zoom out, to gain context of the graphic prior to zooming back in on certain sections.  The future device will need to have image processing capabilities to ensure that the image is scaled on the available tactile surface.  If the image is initially too large for the surface, it would be scaled to fit when first loaded.

  • It is expected that the device will possess software which will optimize graphics to fit on its tactile surface.  Ideally such a device would display graphics as close to embossed braille quality, however we acknowledge compromises will need to occur.

    If and when such a device were to be used to display braille content, ideally it would present braille as close to the standard set by the National Library Service:

    • 34 mm  pin to pin in a cell
    • 24 pin to pin between a cell left and right
    • 10 mm from line to line pin to pin

    During the time receiving feedback with the Graphiti, it was identified that the following dimensions produced very legible braille content when using a pin approach:

    • 5 mm pin to pin in cell
    • 5 mm pin to pin between cells
    • 10 mm between lines, however this could be slightly reduced if need be
  • We are absolutely open to any suggestions during this RFI process.  We urge you to submit these suggestions and feature recommendations as part of your RFI response.  During our time testing with the Graphiti, there was significant success achieved when students were able to touch the pin area and pins themselves to control zooming, scrolling, and locating.  It is possible that a separate touch segment or scrolling control on the device could be beneficial as well for navigation purposes.

  • We are open to other methods of representing shading.  During our time testing with the Graphiti, we observed that with such graphics as maps, different dot heights were an effective way of representing different shades of content.  This was not effective for all graphics, such as portraits.

  • Once again we are open to all suggestions.  During our time testing with Graphiti, 4 varying dot heights were available.  It was not observed that more variations were necessary.

  • APH is considering all technologies that achieve the tactile and educational goals set forth in this RFI.

  • During our testing with the Graphiti, there were two refresh times observed.  The first load refresh time, which took into account the need to process the image and scale it to the size of the array, and the second, to refresh the pins.  It is understood that this initial load time would be slightly longer than the general refresh rate. Ideally the tactile surface could refresh in less than 1 second.  This could occur on a pin by pin occurrence, only refreshing the pins that need to refresh, or by refreshing the entire array at once.  The primary goal is that the refresh rate does not become a hindrance when using the device.

  • This product and partnership is a long-term investment for APH and the partner/partners they select. This product will evolve over the next several years after initial launch.

  • Yes ideally this tool could represent both forms of content. However if representing braille content, a user who is reading a text book or longer braille passage should feel similar pin separation to the standard that is felt when reading embossed braille.  It is understood that it may not be possible to achieve the pin and cell separation standardized by the National Library Service, but ideally the separation by this device would be close enough where it would be nearly indistinguishable.

  • The terms of the business partnership will be discussed with the selected partner/partners.  The Dynamic Tactile Device will be at minimum, a co-branded APH product.

  • Yes

  • The device needs to be able to fit in a child’s backpack along with books and other materials and be carried from class to class by a child who is 7 years of age.  The Graphiti’s pin array was 40X60 pins making a total array of 2400 pins.  Such a size for the graphics surface was acceptable and generally efficient for them to process the information.  The dimensions of the Graphiti tested were 11X11.5 inches and 1.25 inches thick.

    For a student to carry such a device in their backpack the dimensions of the device footprint would need to be reduced.  The thickness of 1.25 inches was acceptable.

    Obviously the lighter the weight the better it will be for a student to carry.  Ideally such a device would be lighter than 4 lbs.