Graphic Reading Systems for the Blind LicensedBy Technology News Daily,
Publication Date: October 26, 2007
Review of two novel graphics reading systems accessible to the blind. Developed at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), a tactile graphic display device and a fingertip graphic reader have been licensed for commercialization. The tactile graphic display device allows the reader to feel a succession of images on a reusable surface by raising some 3,600 small pins into a pattern that can be locked in place, read by touch, and reset for the next graphic. The fingertip graphic reader is a device using an array of about 100 small, very closely spaced actuator points set against the user’s fingertip. The user moves the device across a surface to scan an image in computer memory. The computer sends a signal to the display device and moves the actuators against the skin to translate the pattern, replicating the sensation of the finger moving over the pattern being displayed. The inspiration for both graphic displays came from a “bed of nails” toy: watching the pins depress under fingers and then return to their original state started researchers thinking about how the principle could be applied to electronic signals.
Link to text: http://www.technologynewsdaily.com/node/8359