New technology lets visually impaired people sing karaoke, too

Two companies from the motherland of Karaoke, Japan, partnered up to develop a new Karaoke system that is tailor-made to meet the demands of the blind and visually impaired.

Tokyo-based Nippon Telesoft and Xing from Nagoya will release the machine this fall. It’s Japan-only at this point but Nippon Telesoft has set up a dedicated English homepage for the product (which means a lot here in Japan) so that exporting the technology at some point doesn’t seem to be impossible.

This is how it works: The Karaoke machine is connected to a PC (via USB) in which a special software transforms song lyrics into Braille characters on a display.  When the music starts, the person using the system touches the display and can “read” the song lyrics in the form of up to 40 Braille characters appearing on the display. Memorizing lyrics is no longer needed.

Xing and Nippon Telesoft also say that several of their Karaoke machines can be operated at the same time.