A team of researchers has recently raised over $10,000 to create an alpha prototype for BLITAB, a full-page braille display project which has been in development for three years. The claim on the project's page as the "world's first tablet for blind people" is perhaps a bit misleading, but the project itself has some lofty goals. The BLITAB would include braille translation features as well as a GPS and support for obtaining information from NFC tags.
The project's Indiegogo crowdfunding page describes the technology like this:
BLITAB is a next curve Braille device for reading and writing that displays one whole page Braille text, without mechanical elements. It is like an e-book which instead of using a screen displays small physical bubbles. They rise and fall on demand, composing a whole page in Braille code without any mechanical elements.
The project has received support from some major corporations including T-Mobile, Volkswagen, and 3M. The full-page braille display is a challenge that many have tackled, but to this point, no devices are available for retail. Perhaps the BLITAB will be the one to buck the trend.
They'd do better to forget the extra functionality, which inevitably lags behind what we can get on our phones, and concentrate on a good Braille reading experience. That's what we're really lacking. We don't need another blindy notetaker clone. Give us a Braille E-reader, a Kindle equivalent for the blind, and do it well and I'm all for it!
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J.J. Meddaugh is an experienced technology writer and computer enthusiast. He is a graduate of Western Michigan University with a major in telecommunications management and a minor in business. When not writing for Blind Bargains, he enjoys travel, playing the keyboard, and meeting new people.