annie being demoed to minister of welfare and children

Minister of minority and social welfare and women and children development, Dr. Louis Marandi and District Collector & Deputy Commissioner, Ranchi, Mr. Rai Mahimapat Ray inagurating Annie at Rajyakrit Netrahin Madhya Vidyalaya, Ranchi

India's first Braille Smart Class

Rajyakrit Netrahin Madhya Vidyalaya, Harmu, Ranchi, Jharkhand


The Government school for blind in Ranchi has 24 visually impaired students aged between six to eighteen years.

These 24 students each are taught for an hour by two teachers.

This meant that students would receive only 5 minutes of hand-holding and personal attention. This is inadequate for learning Braille.

Students were spending the remaining time waiting or attempting exercise with minimal feedback.

Attempting exercises without feedback leads to wrong concepts in a formative stage.

typing on annie

This is the story of many schools in India.

Children in most special schools in India receive less than 5 minutes of personal attention of the special educator and hand-holding.

Problems Identified

The unfavorable student to teacher ratio led to the students receiving inadequate supervision.

The lack of interactive content failed to pique the student’s interest and keep them engaged. As a result of this, students were taking longer to learn Braille.

These learning outcomes did not align with what the dedicated teachers set out to achieve.

typing on annie

The Solution

typing on annie

To address the pain points of both the teachers and the students, India’s first Braille smart class was deployed in Ranchi.

20 Annie devices were set up to teach braille to the 24 visually impaired students in the school.

Their user profiles were created to help their teachers track their usage and monitor their progress through lessons and tests.

A server was set up to sync with the user progress data and release over-the-air content and software updates.

The Result

The response of the 24 students has been overwhelmingly positive. The younger students especially are showing great enthusiasm in using the devices to learn.

Teachers could now view students' usage and track their progress.

Most schools teach typing in Braille only after students reach class 8. Students in Ranchi are learning how to type in class 1, in fact they are learning Braille through typing.

Annie was received with great enthusiasm by the teachers as they could now monitor 24 students at the same time and achieve the learning outcomes.

typing on annie

Since the Deployment


Hours learned


Average minutes per user per day


Total sessions*

*A session is the measure of uninterrupted usage of Annie.


In the district of Ranchi, lives of visually impaired children are being improved with the braille smart class.Mr. Narendra Modi, Prime Minister

Mr. Narendra Modi

Honorable Prime Minister of India

The kids are loving it. As teachers, we are able to supervise many kids as they learn at the same time. Also great support by Thinkerbell Labs team to ensure smooth functioning.Mr. Rauvish Kumar, Headmaster

Mr. Rauvish Kumar

Headmaster, Harmu Government Blind School, Ranchi, Jharkhand

It is very interesting to play and to learn reading, writing and typing on Annie. Annie helps me to know more about Braille. I love the commands of Annie. It encourages me a lot.Jeevika, Braille Learner


Braille Learner, Jyoti Seva Home for the Blind, Bangalore, Karnataka

Children are very interested to learn braille on Annie, because it's directing them on what they have to do hence they're not lost with this device.Ms. Shwetha, Braille Teacher

Ms. Shwetha

Braille Teacher, Jyoti Seva Home for the Blind, Bangalore, Karnataka

Thanks to Thinkerbell Labs and District Innovation Fund it is a meaningful change in the lives of those that need it most.Mr. Rai Mahimapat Ray, District Collector

Mr. Rai Mahimapat Ray

District Magistrate, Collector & Deputy Commissioner, Ranchi, Jharkhand

Get Annie

Annie™ (device) is available for an early bird price of £600.

Annie Suite (Access to software tools, and ever increasing library of content and games) is free for one year, post which it's available at £100 per annum.

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Learner typing on Annie

Learner typing on Annie's soft keyboard

Smart Class Setup in Jyothi Seva home for the blind

Braille Smart Class Setup at Jyothi Seva home for the blind, Bangalore

annies kept on tables in the lab in ranchi, india

Braille Smart Class Setup at Harmu Government Blind School, Ranchi

annie being used by kids in ranchi, india

Child listening to Annie and waiting to press a key based on the interactive content

Learner being assisted by a teacher on Annie

Learner being assisted by a teacher on Annie

Learner listening to Annie's human voice via headphones

Learner listening to Annie's human voice via headphones

image of annie being used by kids in ranchi, india

Children indulged with lessons on Annie

Close up of child reading Braille from Annie's six standard cells

Close up of child reading Braille from Annie's six standard cells

image of annie being used by kids in ranchi, india

Minister of social welfare and children development being given a demo of Annie by District Collector of Ranchi and Thinkerbell Team

Big cells on Annie

Close up of twin large braille cells on annie

Standard sized braille cells on Annie

Close up of six standard sized braille cells on Annie

Digital braille slate on Annie

Close up of the world's first digital braille slate on Annie