The tracking pad finds its place in a footwear

G. Venkatesh had always wanted to start a Facebook account. He wanted to make his presence felt on the social networking site, share what he liked with friends and also ‘like’ their posts. But having lost both his arms in an accident, his wish never came true until he met S.Lakshmi Devi, an engineering student. She had redesigned the existing computer mouse in such a way that people like Mr. Venkatesh could use.

This was a blessing for him, because along with his arms he also lost his confidence and his job. After dropping out of school after Class VII, he was employed as a mechanic repairing two-wheelers. He remained at home until a friend took him to a computer training centre run for and by differently abled people, the Caliber Trust.

Even there he could not do much. The Trust’s Surya Nagappan said that Mr. Venkatesh would sit idle in the class, for he could neither use the keyboard nor mouse.

It was then that final year M.E. student from the PSG College of Technology S. Lakshmi Devi got in touch with him through Surya Nagappan. With help from the faculty and the management she modified the mouse by embedding the tracking pad in specially designed footwear and another mouse with push buttons were used as controls. And, then she connected the two to the computer using USB cables.

She took the help of a cobbler near her home in Tirupur to get the footwear ready. Ms. Devi said that the PSG management helped in her attempt to patent the product. “They helped me conduct the patent search.” But she found out that she could not as there was no innovation in the basic mouse architecture. She is now trying to copyright the design. The management had also helped Mr. Venkatesh by paying for the transport he used to move from his home to the Caliber Trust’s computer centre. This had helped the differently abled move beyond Facebook to selected softwares.Ms. Devi said that her next move was to design a keyboard that would be friendly for the differently abled.

More In: Coimbatore