While many in Raleigh are wondering whatever happened to the glory days of 1983, Dr. Neil Di Spigna and company are doing far more productive things at NC State
. It's no secret that the holy grail of Braille
is a tactile display that could change on a whim in order to give blind viewers a way to experience richer content (and lots more of it) when reading, but not until today have we been reasonably confident that such a goal was attainable. Gurus at the university have just concocted a "hydraulic and latching mechanism" concept, vital to the creation of the full-page, refreshable Braille display system. As you may expect, the wonder of this solution is the display's ability to erect dots at the precise points, retract them, and re-erect another set when the reader scrolls through a document or presses a "link" on a website. We're told that the researchers have already presented their findings, and if all goes well, they'll have a fully functioning prototype "within a year." Here's hoping a suitable replacement to Lee Fowler is also unearthed during the same window.