Navigation Links
Breakthrough design opens door to 'full screen' Braille displays for the blind

Imagine if your computer only allowed you to see one line at a time, no matter what you were doing reading e-mail, looking at a Web site, doing research. That's the challenge facing blind computer users today. But new research from North Carolina State University is moving us closer to the development of a display system that would allow the blind to take full advantage of the Web and other computer applications.

"Right now, electronic Braille displays typically only show one line of text at a time. And they're very expensive," says Dr. Neil Di Spigna, a research assistant professor at NC State and co-author of a paper describing the research. In order to develop a more functional, and affordable, tool that would allow the blind to interface with their computers, Di Spigna and his colleagues are working to develop a full-page, refreshable Braille display. Braille uses a series of raised dots to represent letters and numbers, allowing blind people to read.

Such a display would also translate images into tactile displays, effectively mapping pixels in an image and allowing the full-page Braille display to represent the images as raised dots.

The researchers have developed a concept called a "hydraulic and latching mechanism," which would allow the development of such a display system. The mechanism would be made of an electroactive polymer that is very resilient and inexpensive, when compared to current Braille display technologies. "This material will allow us to raise dots to the correct height, so they can be read," says Dr. Peichun Yang, a postdoctoral research associate at NC State and co-author of the paper. "Once the dots are raised, a latching mechanism would support the weight being applied by a person's fingers as the dots are read. The material also responds quickly, allowing a reader to scroll through a document or Web site quickly."

Earlier this month, the researchers presented their findings on the hydraulic component of the mechanism, showing that it is a viable technology. The next step is to demonstrate a proof-of-concept model of the latching mechanism. "We hope to have a fully functioning prototype of the mechanism within a year," Di Spigna says, "and that could serve as the functional building block of a full-screen refreshable display."

"Reading Braille is essential to allowing blind people to find employment," says Yang, who is blind. "We're optimistic that this technology will give the blind additional opportunities in this area."

"The last 20 years of computer technology have been relatively inaccessible and today's common mobile computing devices, from smart-phones to digital navigators and iPads, have been completely nonexistent to blind people, because the display technology for the blind has not kept pace," says David Winick, a researcher at NC State and co-author of the paper. "We hope to enable the development of applications that will give the blind more complete access to the internet and other computer resources, such as e-books."


Contact: Matt Shipman
North Carolina State University

Related medicine news :

1. Breakthrough by Danish scientists in preventing maternal malaria
2. Stem cell breakthrough: Bone marrow cells are the answer
3. Breakthrough heart scanner will allow earlier diagnosis
4. Breakthrough Approach to Age-old Ailment, Renowned Doctor Introduces Powerful Headache Medicine
5. Medical Breakthrough: Drug Free Strategy Shows Promise for Reversing or Halting Osteoporosis for Michigan Men and Women
6. Autism Research at the Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia Is Among Time Magazines Top 10 Medical Breakthroughs
7. Breakthrough Invention: New Device Makes Contact Lenses and Eye Drops Easier Than Ever Before
8. Leading Orthopaedic Surgeon Thomas A. Einhorn Offers Breakthrough Non-Embryonic Stem Cell Surgery to Reverse Early Necrosis of the Hip
9. Now Millions Suffering With Alcohol Addiction Can Get Breakthrough Recovery in Ultimate Privacy
10. Breakthrough Treatment for Diabetic Neuropathy Introduced
11. Biggest Medical Breakthroughs and Milestones of the Last Decade Broadcast on SIRIUS XMs Doctor Radio Channel
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Breakthrough design opens door to 'full screen' Braille displays for the blind
(Date:10/13/2015)... ... October 13, 2015 , ... ... Anik Singal's newly launched "Publish Academy" training course . Singal's new program, ... for enrollment today, and marketers around the Internet are weighing in with reviews. ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... ... 2015 , ... T-System and Centegra Health System, a prominent ... visits per year, today announced the successful and rapid deployment of EV™, an ... financial outcomes. , In less than four days, Centegra Hospitals McHenry ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... ... October 13, 2015 , ... Local Gold’s Gym franchise owner, Bryce Berry, received ... 26. Berry, who owns and operates Gold's Gym Cheyenne in Cheyenne, Wyoming, ... in the United States. A brand leader in global fitness, Gold’s Gyms are located ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... ... October 13, 2015 , ... ... developed valuable new strategies for enrolling and serving insurance consumers who do not ... health insurance and pay monthly premiums. In “Health Plan Engagement Strategies: The ABCs ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... ... October 13, 2015 , ... ... Debbie Vereb has been named the organization’s Executive Vice President of Operations, and ... hired to key leadership roles in the company. , Debbie Vereb’s appointment to ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/13/2015)...  Yesterday Congresswoman Renee Ellmers (R-NC-02) visited ... located in Holly Springs, NC . ... ® (Influenza Vaccine) using cell-culture technology, a state-of-the-art production ... is not reliant on chicken eggs. 1,2 On ... business of Novartis AG in the US, which for ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... -- XiMo AG ( Lucerne , ... Milpitas, California ) announced today the launch of ... of metathesis chemistry was highlighted by the Nobel Prize ... This industrially-relevant application has been utilized in the production ... and polymers. Georg Fráter , COO of ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... , October 13, 2015 the ... be operating in a non-clinical capacity. --> the ... be operating in a non-clinical capacity. --> The University ... completed installation of the first high field (1.5 Tesla) MRI-guided linear ... next year, the system will be operating in a non-clinical capacity. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: