The creators of the Blitab, a new “haptic tablet,” are bringing new meaning to the word “touchscreen.” Designed to be a Kindle for the visually impaired, their device allows users to actually feel their electronic devices.
The device works like an e-reader with a few major changes. Instead of using an LCD display that users can read off of, the “haptic tablet” uses “smart liquid” that forms bubbles on the surface. Blind and visually impaired users can than read the bubbles as Braille letters. “We call the materials ‘tixels’ from ‘tactile pixels’ because we do not use any mechanical elements to trigger the dots,” says Bitlab’s founder, Kristina Tsvetanova. The software converts text from webpages and USB drives.
Tsvetanova has a working prototype and is still looking to get seed-funding to bring her product to market. And while similar products already exist with astronomical price tags of over $15,000, Tsvetanova’s goal is to make the “haptic tablet” more affordable, so that more people can use it.
What Sparks Our Fire: Creative design improving internet accessibility for the blind and visually impaired in the tablet-era.