You may have seen some braille readers, but yes, too costly. But now for making things easier for the visually impaired and partial sighted people, a new kindly-style Braille eReader is coming and it is affordable than the current ones. Also, the currently available Refreshable Braille displays are limited by the amount of text they display. This is limited sometimes to only a single line of text.
Dr Sile O’Modhrain, an associate professor of information at the University of Michigan and her team is developing the Braille eReader which is a full page refreshable Braille tablet. It works like e-Ink used in Kindles.
Led by Dr Sile O’Modhrain, an associate professor of information at the University of Michigan, the team are developing a full page refreshable Braille tablet that works much like the e-Ink used in Kindles and other e-reading devices. They say it will allow people to feel entire pages of text while also helping to display tactile graphs and even graphics.
Image Credit: University of Michigan
The ‘Braille Kindle’ (artist’s impression illustrated) could make reading text and working with graphs easier for millions.
Imagine having a Kindle, that isn’t a visual Kindle, but instead has a tactile surface that can be read by a person who is blind, using Braille.
Alexander Rossomanno, a graduate student research assistant in Dr O’Modhrain’s lab stated,
You can’t do much with a single line. It’s hard to read for one… but also, you can’t do things like graphs, you can’t do spreadsheets, you can’t do any kind of spatially distributed information.
The Braille readers available for people right now are expensive and difficult to use while on the move. The team have transferred the Braille dots to an entirely pneumatic system that can use air of flush to push up small plastic pins from an 8 x 7 grid, forming Braille letters. The outcome is a bubbled surface that could represent a while page of text that is portable and small.
Dr O’Modhrain further stated,
That means that we’re able to produce a display that’s a lot cheaper than existing displays which rely on electronics.’
The project, which started in 2013, has a projected end date of September this year.