Braille on a touchscreen? Sure, why not

The advent of the touchscreen era is good news for many, but for the blind it has to be a pretty difficult transition. Slick interfaces like wall-mounted touch kiosks are practically impossible to adapt for usage by blind people since, obviously, there is nowhere to put Braille keys. One company thinks they may have something that works for some devices, but it’s far from a universal solution.

The idea is simple enough: simulate the Braille lettering on the surface of the touchscreen. The screen obviously can’t raise or lower to make physical bumps, but The Nokia 770 tablet they used has the ability to vibrate parts of its screen. It can simulate the Braille bumps with quick or dull vibrations — sort of a cross between braille and Morse code. The system is new and, well, doesn’t really work yet, but it’s a promising idea and may just need a little refining.

[via Ubergizmo; image credit: New Scientist]