Making an accessible Kindle: The Frankenkindle

The Amazon Kindle is one of the many pieces of kit in the market which are fantastically popular and have revolutionised one of the world’s most popular past times: reading. However, using this eBook reader can be particularly difficult if you have ataxia, a movement disorder or perhaps difficulties with your fine motor skills. So there are lots of people interested in looking for ways of making a more accessible kindle. This was the case for engineer Glenn’s sister who has cerebral palsy but as this picture shows, having an engineer for a brother can be a great asset as he created this fantastic device so she can use her Kindle easily and christened it, the “Frankenkindle”.

Hacking a Kindle

As this picture shows, the Frankenkindle is a modified Kindle which allows Glenn’s sister to easily use her Kindle without being affected by the difficulties caused by her cerebral palsy. The tiny buttons in particular were extremely difficult to use but as the video at the bottom of the page from Glenn’s blog shows, it was an extremely technical process on his part to create the accessible eBook reader.

Cleverly, Glenn used the large controls from a children’s eBook reader (produced by VTech) as he realised the controls on this reader were much easier to use but the reader itself only held children’s books. Using his engineering prowess Glenn was able to both mount the Kindle and hack its content so as to reroute the controls to the VTech controller pad making it accessible for his sister.

As it stands, Glenn has yet to trial the Frankenkindle with his sister and it is purely in prototype stage but it will be great to see exactly where it goes next!

On another point, did you know Trabasack are currently developing a new product which will allow you to mount your Kindle or eReader to their lap tray bag? The new 'Monti' will be a flexibe low cost mount that will hold a Kindle or iPad in place. For more info contact Duncan{@} or watch this space for updates!


The video of the making of the hacked accessible Kindle can be seen below:


If you have had a go at hacking a Kindle to make it easier for you to use or have any ideas for making an' accessible kindle ' please leave a comment.

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