Naked Science Forum

Non Life Sciences => Technology => Topic started by: Paul Anderson on 03/03/2009 11:30:02

Title: Would this be a viable way to create 'texture pictures' for the blind?
Post by: Paul Anderson on 03/03/2009 11:30:02
Paul Anderson  asked the Naked Scientists:
Hi Chris and team,

I have had a couple of ideas and I don't know if they are already in use, so I shall suggest them. Years ago I visited Homai College for the Blind and I was shown 3D maps on which sheets of plastic were melted, so children could feel the plastic and get some idea of world maps or pictures of animals, etc.

In the old days, newspapers showed photos which were a collection of dots and these days we have digital cameras using pixels.

Think of an Indian bed of nails miniaturised to the size of a sheet of A4 with each of the nails in coils so that the nails can move up and down by inductance or some other mechanism. Hook it up to a computer and scanner. The scanner scans a picture and the computer regulates the height of the close 'nails' and a blind person puts their hand over it, as
though reading Braille, and can then get an idea of the scanned picture.

This has the advantage that the nail 'pictures' can be changed faster than just making a 3D model and then melting plastic over it.




What do you think?
Title: Would this be a viable way to create 'texture pictures' for the blind?
Post by: LeeE on 03/03/2009 19:51:25
I've seen a braille interface for computers that uses that technique to convert lines of text on the screen in to a braille-readable strip that can be attached to the keyboard.  It was made up of 132 (iirc) individual braille 'cells', each one consisting of six rounded pins that were raised or lowered to present the appropriate braille matrix for the corresponding character on the screen.

There are also those pin art toys... (