2010 Conference: Trend of DAISY playback device in the world by Mr. Hiromitsu Fujimori

This paper was presented at the 2010 conference of the Round Table on Information Access for People with Print Disabilities. You can read the full paper below, download the Word version, flip through the slides or listen to an audio recording of the presentation.

Download this presentation

Word version of full paper

Audio recording of Hiromitsu Fujimori’s presentation (MP3, 30.8 MB)

Presenter’s bio

Hiro Fujimori demonstrating a portable talking book player from PLEXTALK.  Photo taken by Grant Hutchings.
Mr. Fujimori is the Manager of R&D team at Shinano Kenshi Co., Ltd. manufacturing DAISY related products under the brand name of “PLEXTALK”.

Mr. Fujimori has been working for the PLEXTALK engineering team in 2006 and developed online DAISY distribution system. Also he is helping organisations considering to develop DAISY online distribution system all over the world.

He is also a member of the Advisory Committee of z.39.86 (DAISY standard) and worked for DAISY Online Working Groups.


PLEXTALK or Shinano Kenshi has committed to DAISY and its related technologies since we joined the development of the concept of DAISY in 1994. We continue to design and develop advanced DAISY players, delivery devices and user support systems in response to the changing and growing needs of our global community of people.

In recent years, DAISY has been accepted and well known as a standard which gives usefulness of DTB. DAISY is also acquiring more powerful features to offer to people better DTB delivery and reading environment. We continue to design and develop new concept and advanced hardware/software in accordance with those changing and diversified demands in the market.

We will show you the recent achievements of our product line-up offering around the world.


Slide 1

Trend of DAISY playback device in the world

Shinano Kenshi

Slide 2

“During the early development of the DAISY Consortium in the mid 1990’s, Plextor Corp. and its parent company, Shinano Kenshi Co., Ltd., was among the early supporters. Plextor products have always had an excellent reputation for being the highest quality products on the market. The early founders of the DAISY Consortium welcomed Plextor’s knowledgeable participation in DAISY developments. Without this early support, we would not be where we are today. The DAISY Consortium and the millions of blind and print-disabled people we serve will be forever indebted to Shinano Kenshi for their involvement.”

DAISY Consortium website (http://www.daisy.org/policy/patent.html)

Please also see ‘Your Story’ – DAISY Consortium


Slide 3

  • Worldwide field trial in 1996-1997. Contributed next generation digital talking books standard
  • World’s FIRST DAISY player in May 1998 (TK-300)
  • World’s FIRST DAISY recorder in Aug. 2002 (PTR1)
  • World’s FIRST DAISY network software player in Apr. 2004 (Net-Plextalk)
  • World’s FIRST DAISY network player (hardware prototype), in Jan. 2007

Slide 4

PLEXTALK Leads the Digital Talking Book Player

Photos of players along a timeline

  • V1 1995/Apr.
  • V2 1995/Aug.
  • V3 1996/Mar.
  • V4 1996/Aug.
  • V5 1996/Dec.
  • V6 1998/May. TK-300/B
  • Commercial model
  • 2000/Mar. TK-200


Slide 5

Recording tool

  • PC software
  • Hardware

Photos of products on a timeline

  • PTR1 2002
  • PLEXTALK Recording Software 2004
  • PTR2 2005
  • DR-1 2007
  • Pocket PTP1 2008


  • Net Plextalk 2004
  • PTN1 2004
  • PTX1 2009

Slide 6

Media and services on DAISY

Transition period

from CD media, Audio only

to Network/Download, Multi media

Slide 7

History of network products development

  • Launched the first network DAISY player, NetPlextalk in 2004
  • NetPlextalk was adapted by Japan Braille Library, RNIB, TPB and NLB.
  • Developed prototype of hardware online DAISY player in 2006
  • Co-operated field trial in Japan, UK, Australia, Sweden since 2006 (still on going in Sweden)
  • Experiences were reflected to online protocol and product development

Slide 8

DAISY online delivery

  • DAISY online WG has started DAISY online protocol development
  • The standard is expected to be approved by DAISY consortium in April

Slide 9

System Design

Diagram of online library environment. The diagram has three main areas:

  • Backend (Database, Archive)
  • Web server (Library service)
  • DAISY online server

The Backend contains Catalogue and User Information and Book archive

The Web server contains Web portal for PC and Web portal for Mobile phone

There are two-directional arrows between the Backend and Web Server, between the Web Portal for PC and a woman looking at a computer screen, and between the Web portal for Mobile phone and a mobile phone.

The DAISY online server contains Web portal for DAISY online player.

There are two-directional arrows between the Backend and DAISY online server, and between the DAISY online server and a mobile phone, a piece of computer software and a stand-alone player.

Copyright SHINANO KENSHI CO., LTD. All rights reserved.

Slide 10

Library support

Diagram of a Library server, Librarian and User.

The Library server contains a Bookshelf

The Librarian adds and deletes books from the Bookshelf

The User uses a player to request bookshelf information from the bookshelf

The Bookshelf sends a Title list to the player.

The User telephones requests to the Librarian.

Slide 11


  • DAISY online server provides catalogue information of the contents and menu to find title
  • PTX1 user connects to DAISY online server via internet (DSL/FTTH)
  • Selecting book and put in my library (bookshelf)
  • Alternative assistance from Local Library
  • PTX1 streams/downloads the book

Slide 12

Additional features by DAISY online

  • Share bookshelf

Bookshelf information is managed by server and available for each user. Bookshelf information is shared by multiple players such as PTP1 and PTX1.

  • Share bookmark

DAISY online specification defines a function to transfer bookmarks. This function makes possibility to share the bookmark information between PTP1 and PTX1.

Slide 13

The first network DAISY player – PTX1

Photos of two players: PTX1/RNIB and PTX1 Pro

Slide 14

Recent & Meaningful Achievements of Shinano Kenshi

  • Partnership & co-branded PTX1 Product
    Royal National Institute for the Blind (RNIB), U.K. – Joint designing of PTX1
  • Numerous joint development with…
    • Vision Australia (VA) co-branded product
    • Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind (RNZFB)
  • Idea collaboration…
    • Swedish Library of Talking Books and Braille
    • Finnish Federation of the Visually Impaired (FFVI) and Celia Library for the Visually Impaired of Finland

Slide 15


  • Robust Design
  • CD, SD, USB, Online (LAN, WiFi)
  • Speech Synthesizer (TTS)
  • Network capability (LAN, WiFi)


  • Low Rate of Failure = Cost/Time Saving
  • Store and Carry All You Have = Time Saving
  • Shorten Time to Wait = Access More Information

Library Service

  • Low Rate of Failure, Reuse of Media, No Disk Delivery = Cost Effectiveness
  • Quick Delivery = Quality of Service

Slide 16

Network player – PTP1

  • PTP1 is sold as an portable DAISY recoder/player
  • PTP1 has built-in WiFi module
  • Network feature will be activated by firmware upgrade

Slide 17

Multimedia DAISY

  • Full text DAISY books are getting popular
  • PC software or mobile phone application is common playback platform for text DAISY books

Slide 18

Consideration of platform for text DAISY

  • Generic platform is not best solution for people with disabilities
  • Performing some pilot projects in Japan to inquire what is best and suitable for text DAISY books

Slide 19


Slide 20


[end of slides]


Full paper: Trend of DAISY playback device in the world


In the middle of 1990’s, Plextor/Shinano Kenshi supported DAISY Consortium to develop the first DAISY standard and contributed our development, technology and knowledge. We launched the first DAISY player in 1998 and it helped to accelerate transition from analogue to digital.

Transition of media and contents format

At beginning of DAISY development, contents resource was focused on audio and main distribution media was CD. Since then, technologies have been progressed and speech synthesizer became popular and internet is now common technology. DAISY Consortium keen about adapting new technologies/features and we are following the trend.

DAISY Online delivery protocol

In 2004, we launched first network DAISY player, NetPlextalk and it was adapted by several organizations. After the launch, we developed prototype of hardware network player and had trial project in several countries. Such kinds of pilots were started and each system adopted its proprietary design. This means that a player designed for service A can not be used for service B and this makes significant compatibility problem. In order to avoid such situation, DAISY Consortium established DAISY online delivery working group in 2007 and started standard protocol development. We joined the WG as technical core member and shared our experiences.

The DAISY online delivery protocol is designed to deliver contents to end users without web page operation. The protocol defines automated contents delivery (out of band) model and dynamic menu. By these features, DAISY books are transferred to player without user operation or users can search any books they want to read without librarian support alternatively.

Typical operations of online service are as follows;

  • DAISY online server provides catalogue information of the contents and menu to find title
  • User connects DAISY online server via internet
  • Selecting book and put it in bookshelf
  • Alternatively, books can be pushed into user’s bookshelf by librarian
  • Contents can be played either streaming or download

World’s first hardware online DAISY player

In order to realize such online service, we launched first online DAISY player, PTX1 in 2009. At development stage of the product, we involved RNIB, Vision Australia and RNZFB for the designing and put our experience from our pilot projects.

Audio to text

In terms of contents format, full text DAISY books are now getting popular. Text contents are important for the people with print disability who need to access the information as early as possible. Since text to speech technologies are improved, text reading function is available on latest hardware DAISY players. However, majority of hardware players does not have a display and personal computers or smart phones are often used as text playback devices. As a manufacturer, we think that using generic platform is good as quick solution, but not best solution for people with disabilities. We are still inquiring best solution and will announce result of our research.


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