Reprogrammable Braille Tech Could Reinvent Books for the Sight-Impaired

Reprogrammable Braille Tech Could Reinvent Books for the Sight-Impaired

blind braille

Researchers from the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) are working to bring even more books to the sight-impaired readers. While regular Braille books, due to their format, span across thousands of pages, the researchers developed a new technique that could bring down that size to just a few pages.

The scientists developed a framework that will allow them to encode memory in the form of Braille-like dimples that can be written and erased at will.

braille technology visually impaired

“First, the thin elastic shell – shaped like a slightly curved ruler — is compressed by a force on each end. Then, indents are made using a simple stylus, in much the same way that the pages of a traditional Braille book are printed. The shell will “remember” the indent when the force is no longer applied and the indent can be erased by stretching the shell back out,” explained L. Mahadevan, the senior author of the study.

Too confusing? Think of an inverted fruit bowl on which you press various objects, made from a material elastic enough to remember those objects and afterwards, bounce back to its original shape. At least that’s what the maker of this project names as inspiration, as you can see in the image above.

If all goes well, this reprogrammable Braille project could compress the 21 volumes of Tolstoy’s War and Peace into just a few pages, which will open a new world of opportunities for those who are visually impaired.

Also read: ✍These AR Glasses Could Help Legally Blind People See Again✍

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