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Superb Idea: Vibrating-Braille Touchscreen Phones For the Blind

A team at the University of Tampere in Finland is developing the technology to make bring a kind of vibrating Braille to touchscreen-phones for...


A team at the University of Tampere in Finland is developing the technology to make bring a kind of vibrating Braille to touchscreen-phones for the blind. It's the latest techy development in a growing number of improvements being made to devices we non-blind know and love. Perhaps you, like my mom, will say "I would think that already existed." But you'd be wrong. Not totally surprisingly, the coolest new gadgets-outfitted with the coolest new technology-aren't always quickly adapted for the blind. But since the touch-screen-everything craze is just starting to completely take over our lives, it's encouraging that an adapted version is in the works.What about other covetables? The newest iPod Nano has been made more accessible with voice prompts-though it took a little longer than some would have liked. (Interesting thread on that from a few years back here and here.) Meanwhile, the iPhone hasn't been made blind-friendly by Apple just yet, which lots of people are pissed about. But as you might have read, another company is working on a tactile case to surround the thing and make it more accessible. (For the record: It's worth giving Apple its kudos for other improvements the company has made on some of its other products.)This topic raises uncomfortable questions about whose responsibility it is to make products accessible to anyone willing to pay for them. Should companies have to make all their new stuff accessible to the blind? What do you think?Image via
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