[bct] Pocket Braille System

  • From: "Maria" <malyn87@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <blindcooltech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 2 Dec 2005 21:42:35 -0500

Hello everyone,

Below is a tidbit I received in my regular email, which I thought some of you 
might be interested in reading.


>New pocket-size Braille system
>Blind people may soon be reading messages using the world's first portable
>electronic Braille. The pocket-sized display, which can be rolled up like a
>newspaper, is designed to connect to mobile phones and laptops. Researchers
>in Japan have produced a 16-centimetre-square prototype just one millimetre
>thick which weighs five grams. It incorporates 144 plastic "paddles" beneath
>a thin rubber surface which bend upwards when an electric current is
>applied. On the tip of each paddle is a sphere under a millimetre across
>that rises and produces a bump in the rubber. The bumps produce the Braille
>message, which can be read the normal way by feeling with the fingertips.
>When the current is switched off, the paddles straighten and the bumps
>disappear. Inventor Takao Someya, from the University of Tokyo, will present
>the device at the International Electron Devices meeting in Washington DC in
>December, New Scientist magazine reported. The device could go beyond
>Braille to allow the blind to feel images as well as words, says Someya. But
>Yoseph Bar-Cohen, an electronics expert at Nasa's Jet Propulsion Laboratory
>in Pasadena said: "If a blind person cannot feel the movement of the dots,
>the device will not be practical." 

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