14-year-old Louisville boy invents device to help visually impai - WDRB 41 Louisville News

14-year-old Louisville boy invents device to help visually impaired do laundry

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Jack DuPlessis Jack DuPlessis
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -

Jack DuPlessis is an inventor. Like many inventors, he likes to make mundane tasks easier.

“It's fun because you get to solve problems and tinker around with it until you get it just right,” he said.

However, unlike many inventors, he just finished junior high school. His dad works at GE's FirstBuild and was approached about a problem, but he knew Jack would be the one to solve it.

People who are visually impaired can find it difficult to wash their clothes because they can't see the buttons on the washing machine.

“They just didn't even know what cycle they were on,” said Jack’s dad, Sam DuPlessis. “They had to have braille or symbols.”

Sam DuPlessis wanted to make a knob with an obvious home position, but Jack had a different plan.

“It speaks all of the buttons and the knobs, so when you turn the knob, it will say 'cotton' or any new cycle selected on it,” Jack said.

He taught the appliance how to speak. One version even speaks Spanish. The invention is a box that plugs into a GE washer and dryer.

It's new, but the father-son duo wanted to help as many people as possible, as soon as possible. It's already available to buy online, even though they're still trying improve the design. For a link to buy the invention, click here. 

“It's so early, it doesn't even have a name yet,” Sam DuPlessis said. “We are looking for a good name. It’s just called The Talking Laundry Module. We get feedback every time we show it, and we keep a list of everything.”

Jack DuPlessis recently programmed it to tell how much time is left in the load based off of feedback from people who use the device at the Kentucky School for the Blind.

He said he won’t stop tinkering with it until it’s just right.

And laundry is just a start. Jack DuPlessis wants to make the device work on other appliances in the future. 

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