Blind Bargains

Researchers to Demonstrate Their Solution for Cheaper Braille Displays at Chicago Haptics Conference

Stop us if you've heard this one before. A team of researchers are developing a multiline braille display that could dramatically reduce the cost and increase braille literacy. This isn't a rerun, rather another in a growing list of projects aiming to combat the fall of braille adoption in recent years. Sile O’Modhrain and Brent Gillespie, two researchers from the University of Michigan will present their findings at the World Haptics Conference in Chicago on Tuesday.

According to an article from the Economist, The screen of the device includes a grid of pins the diameter of Braille dots. Normally, the tops of these pins are flush with the screen’s surface. When needed, though, they can be pushed upwards to create patterns representing Braille symbols. This is possible because each pin rests on a silicone-rubber membrane that sits above a small cavity. The cavity is, in turn, connected to a tiny pneumatic line and valve. When air is blown through the valve into the cavity, the membrane balloons up, pushing the pin above the screen’s surface."

The researchers anticipate that a display the size of a tablet, with 26 lines of 40 cells each, could be sold for under $1,000.

Source: The Economist
Category: News

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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.

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