Jan 22, 2016 06:28 AM EST
The amount of technological devices that are capable for blind people to use is fairly limited. And in order to make them feel less different, a team of scientists has started developing what would be the world's first ever tablet for blind people.
A group of researchers from the University of Michigan has recently revealed a prototype Kindle-style tablet model with built-in Braille system support, which will help those people with eyesight issues to read text while it is on full display. It is the first tablet in the world to have such feature.
Liquids or air will make the display mechanism of the prototype model expand and shrink using pneumatic technology. According to the researchers, the inflatable set of Braille characters will be felt after after pressing a series of bubbles within the LCD display. It was also noted that one of their main goals is to have the technology develop a display that is about the same amount of words found in a kindle page.
Professor Sile O'Modhrain, a performing arts professor and visually impaired herself, introduced the product by saying that it's like using a Kindle. Though it's not an actual Kindle since it has a tactile surface that can let visually impaired people like her to read the displayed characters using Braille system. She also added that even though there are already existing devices with refreshable displays that have Braille system support, they are still very expensive and can only offer one line of information at a time.
One of the people who can testify to that is the University of Michigan grad student, Alexander Rossomanno. He explained in his statement that doing things with a single line display is extremely limited. Aside from that, it is also very hard for him and his fellow people with eyesight issues to read, do graphs, make spreadsheets and etc.
The device is still in the middle of development, but the researchers are very optimistic that once it is finally done and distributed, the product will be able to help a lot of blind individuals.