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Touchable BlindPad puts visual information at your fingertips

192 magnetic buttons turn visual data into touchable shapes.
Richard Lawler, @Rjcc
May 5, 2017
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École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL)

This touchscreen tablet operates differently than your usual iPad, with 192 magnetic buttons across its 12 x 15cm surface. They can move up and down almost instantaneously to create patterns representing the layout of a room or other visual data and hold their position thanks to two steel plates inside the tablet or vibrate. That enables visually impaired users to "read" it with their fingers. Researchers at the École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) say it's intended as a complement to a Braille display, or white canes with audio GPS embedded for navigation.

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