General, Research, Technology

Created a screen that allows the blind to read Braille without touching

To help the blind recognize information,More than 150 years ago, Braille was created, which is still widely used around the world. It consists of six convex points on a flat surface with a different arrangement, which allows you to display mainly numbers for blind people. Some interactive braille displays allow you to display different text, but they are very expensive, and their use is considered unsafe, since any observer can peek the information on the screen. Reading the written text using voice is also considered ineffective, as it is non-confidential. Therefore, scientists are constantly in the development of new ways that will help the blind interact with the written text.

Braille is now printed right on the buttons

What is braille

Engineers managed to create one of these solutions.from Germany, who were able to adapt the ultrasound display to display Braille numbers. The screen creates several zones of ultrasonic waves in the air, and it’s enough for a person to bring a palm close to it in order to distinguish these waves with the help of the skin. As planned by scientists, such a display can subsequently be installed, for example, above the keyboard of an ATM. Now blind people use ATMs using Braille, which is applied to the pin input buttons, as well as using voice prompts from the device itself. However, this is not entirely safe: anyone can come close to such a person and see what numbers he is gaining.

The idea to create a relief-dot alphabet came to LouisBraille after playing in his father’s workshop accidentally injured his eye, which two years later led to a permanent loss of vision. He not only created braille, but also worked as a tutor-tutor, learned to play the piano and organ.

How the blind recognize numbers

As an alternative, engineers offeruse the ultrasonic display developed by them, which can be installed on any public devices for the blind. The screen with the help of sound waves simulates a signal in a range distinguishable by hand, as a result a person feels noticeable pressure and vibration at a certain point in space.

How the hand recognizes characters from the screen

If the symbol displayed “in the palm of your hand” corresponds to the number that the blind person wants to enter, he moves his hand below and confirms the entry with one touch.

The display was tested with one of the ATMs

Of course, for the full operation of such a deviceat the same ATM, support for a new type of display and input of information for the blind will be required, but the idea of ​​developing such a display is already of interest to many scientists. Its only drawback so far is the accuracy of operation; blind people recognize characters “projected” on their palm in an average of 85% of cases. This, of course, is also a lot, but now such a person can use the usual ATM keyboard with Braille and enter the exact numbers he needs. In addition, it will be noticeably faster, but less confidential.

Such a screen would be advisable to use notonly in ATMs and elevators, as engineers want to implement, but simply in the everyday life of blind people. Instead of braille on surfaces, they will be able to read information using ultrasonic waves in their palm. Blind people cannot use vision to build their model of the world, they rely on other feelings. Therefore, their sense of touch, in particular, allows them to use Braille.

Symbols used in the study

Scientists interviewed 11 blind people and offered themtry a new device, and for ease of use, it scored almost 80 points out of 100. Engineers have already created several working prototypes of the new display for the blind, which they plan to use in some ATMs and elevators.

Interestingly, congenital blindness is somehowprotects a person from schizophrenia. At the same time, if you lost your sight in a later period of your life and there are relatives with schizophrenia in the family, then the chances of getting sick significantly increase.

Millions of people around the world suffer fromdiseases that lead to the gradual degeneration of photosensitive cells in their eyes, which ultimately leads to complete blindness. 5 years ago, researchers from the University of Burn and the University of Gettinge developed a way by which this process can be reversed, but since then things have not progressed further than testing on mice.