Austria-based startup Blitab Technology have developed a tablet device braille with a 14-line Braille display for the blind and partially sighted. The technology is liquid-based technology that could be used to create the digital era to the visually impaired. This is the first touchable device for blind and visually impaired people.
Currently, the devices that available in the markets are mechanical and they only allow for one line of braille to be generated at any one time. In addition, they are also expensive in cost.
Slavi Slavev, chief technology officer said, “What we are doing is creating a completely new technology which outputs braille in a completely new and innovative way without any mechanical elements.”
“This is revolutionary and we want to solve a great issue, and that’s the literacy of blind people. The technology is quite scalable so we can output images and put any tactile relief representation like maps and graphics, such as geometric figures, in order to serve as an educational tool for blind people.”
The tablet that Blitab Technology developed uses liquid bubbles to instantly generate braille text or relief images. Another corresponding technology allows text files to be instantly converted into braille from USB sticks, web browsers or NFC tags.
The solutions for it currently are expensive. Those devices were developed 40 years ago and because no one has offered any new innovations since then, that’s still all that’s on the market.
Slavev said, “We think blind people should be included in the digital era in which we live, with all of the smartphones and tablets, but also ensure that they have a proper way to do everything that sighted people do, like web browsing, reading books and downloading books.”
“Only 1% of all books worldwide are available in printed braille, as it’s very expensive to produce printed braille. Some people are even saying that braille is decreasing among blind people but we want to get to the point where we can actually change this.“