ELIA Newsletter - June 01, 2017

Cooper Hewitt

ELIA is excited to announce that The ELIA Frames Alphabet has been selected for inclusion in Cooper Hewitt’s upcoming Exhibition of the Senses in April 2018. Located right here in Manhattan, Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum is the only museum in the nation devoted exclusively to historic and contemporary design. To share our innovative tactile alphabet with the world at Cooper Hewitt is quite an honor, and we will provide details about the exhibit as the date approaches. We hope to see you there.

Soho House

Since we last wrote, ELIA’s CEO Andrew Chepaitis was invited to participate in a panel discussion regarding Design and Disability at the Soho House in Manhattan. An interesting conversation, Andrew shared ELIA’s approach to solving complex problems related to disability. Also a challenging talk, Andrew described and defended ELIA’s process of qualitative and quantitative interviews and data analysis.

Tech Crunch

ELIA also exhibited at Techcrunch Disrupt NYC, where we demonstrated our TouchPrinter and ELIA Frames alphabet to throngs of attendees. There was much enthusiasm for our products and our mission, and we continued to forge relationships with potential customers and collaborators. A pleasant surprise was the variety of corporate service partners in attendance - we struck up relationships with SalesForce.com (for customer relationship management software), Topcoder (for game and app development), NetCapital (for fundraising), and Unum Provident (for a possible long-term disability insurance partnership where ELIA could help them better serve their claimants). We’ll be following up on those conversations and would be glad to share additional information with you. If you have suggestions regarding corporate partnerships, please let us know.


ELIA was recently chosen for inclusion in Futureworks, a product-hardware incubator in NYC - we were one of just a dozen companies chosen from over 100 applicant organizations. The program provides access to state-of-the-art machinery and hardware-building expertise throughout NYC. We expect to leverage its resources to build better products faster and for less cost.

Welcome to the ELIA Newsletter May 23, 2017

We are excited to share with you the major developments at ELIA Life Technology, and every two weeks for the foreseeable future, we will be providing additional details about our progress and work. In the meantime, please feel free to contact us for further information or suggestions.

Summary for those with limited time:

Our main news, which we are very excited about, is that we are completing development of the world’s first tactile graphical printer, called the TouchPrinter. Now that people have the ability to print and read the ELIA Frames Alphabet in their own homes, classrooms, and workplaces, we can formally launch ELIA Frames and promote its adoption. Users will also be able to print tactile graphics – charts and graphs, maps and diagrams, presentations that include text and graphics, etc. Read the update to learn more.

Table of Contents for this Update:

A. ELIA Frames Alphabet- Adoption Strategy, Pilot Programs
B. Tactile Printer Completion- UL Testing, Production and Launch

A. ELIA Frames Alphabet

ELIA Frames has always offered the 8.4 million people in the U.S. who have a visual impairment the possibilities for greater education, employment, literacy, and independence. And it has the potential for widespread adoption because it is merely a new design of the standard alphabet, which 99.9% of people in the U.S. know and have read. But launching ELIA Frames formally, without a means for readers to produce it themselves, is dangerous. We witnessed this first hand after our last research study, where we taught blind people to read ELIA Frames. They were enthusiastic to continue reading it, but after we had completed the funded training and testing, we could not keep up with their demand for reading materials, as the grant research had been completed. Clearly, our ELIA Frames readers needed a way to print their own tactile materials.

B. Tactile Printer Completion- UL Testing, Production and Launch

ELIA Life Technology has created the world’s first tactile graphical printer. Now, any document or image can be printed in tactile form. For the first time, the blind will have access to the same printed graphical information that the sighted have. This will open up opportunities for them to study STEAM subjects, (science, technology, engineering, art, and math).

In 2014, the company was awarded a $1.2 million grant from the National Institute on Aging (part of NIH) to develop a tactile graphical printer. Through the grant, the company has successfully created a printer that can print any image or document in tactile form. The technology utilizes Hewlett Packard inkjet printer technology and a specially coated paper, and ELIA Life Technology has an exclusive license from Hewlett Packard to use their printing technology in the printer.

Our research and development team integrated Hewlett Packard ink jet printer components, off-the-shelf electronic and mechanical components, and custom hardware and software to ensure that the printer prints consistent output, output that meets the US Library of Congress standard for tactile print production. Because the printer leverages inkjet printer technology, any content that one can print with an inkjet printer can now be printed tactilely.

The tactile printing technology has been de-risked and a working prototype has been created. As is, it could be mass-produced. Indeed, we have four of identical units ready for field-testing.

Remaining efforts before commercialization include final usability testing, and the fabrication of a final production-ready prototype, which will be sent to the Underwriters Laboratory for UL testing and certification. Once those activities are complete, production, operations, and sales will begin.

To all of our supporters, thank you for taking the time to read our inaugural newsletter. We will continue to share with you developments at ELIA Life Technology in order to keep you up to date on issues such as research and development, financial interests, legal news, and other activities. I encourage you to reach out to me with any questions you may have.

Thank you very much,

Andrew Chepaitis - Founder and CEO of ELIA Life Technology