[NFB-Braille-Discussion] Multi-line refreshable braille - originally about Canute display

Mike Jolls mrspock56 at hotmail.com
Sat Nov 30 16:07:28 UTC 2019

I’m reposting this as I erroneously sent it to one person.  I wanted to hear from the entire list.

This was originally about the new Canute mechanical display.

While I appreciate the fact that a company has finally tried to create  a multi-line braille display (the Canute) … something that people have been wanting for some time … I think that what people would really want (and you all can correct me if I’m wrong) would be a very portable device, such as a tablet like an iPad, that was easily transportable, which supported multiple lines of Braille.

I haven’t actually seen the Canute.  Some comments are that it’s a large desk model.  Some have also said it’s a bit noisy.  The best design of course is one that is relatively lightweight, and relatively quiet (that is if you can do it).  If a tablet could be produced that could “pop multiple lines of braille out of the screen”, that would seem a good fit.  Pop the dots right out of the surface of the tablet (you actually deform the tablet surface as there are no “holes” with pins that are pushed up through them as in current displays), read the page, hit a button, then pull them back to the screen and pop out the next page of dots.  It would have to be a large screen, such as used in a tablet.  There would be a lot of rows.  Quiet operation.  if it was built like a tablet, and you had various apps that could recognize different file types, well then you could read a lot of different types of material in one place (PDFs, Word documents, etc…).  Just have your data on the cloud or on a memory stick and load it to the tablet and you’re ready.  Then go into braille mode.  You do it all on the tablet.  No external braille display needed.

In my last email. I was asking if anybody had heard about a company called Tactus Technology that had been working on plastics that could be “deformed”.  I believe I contacted them about 7 or 8 years ago.  They said they were at least thinking about an application for Braile and tablets.  If that is possible, , this could make portable Braille that is very light, and which had a lot of lines.  It seems that would really be a winning combination.

I was wondering if anybody had heard anything about progress with this potential technology?  Has anything been said in NFB circles?  Is the NFB even aware of this possibility?

What do you all think of a technology if it could deliver such a solution?

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