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What is refreshable braille display?

Updated: Dec 15, 2023

Refreshable Braille display is a tactile device designed for individuals with visual impairments. It consists of a series of small mechanical cells, each representing a Braille dot. These cells can move up and down to form different Braille characters. The term "refreshable" means that these cells can change their position dynamically to display different characters as the user interacts with digital content.

Here's a basic overview of how it works:

  • Input Source: The content to be displayed is sent to the Braille display from a computer, smartphone, or other digital device. This content can include text from documents, web pages, or other digital sources.

  • Translation: The input content is translated into Braille characters. Each character is represented by a specific arrangement of raised dots.

  • Mechanical Cells: The Braille display consists of a row of these small mechanical cells. Each cell has a set of pins that can be raised or lowered to form the Braille dots corresponding to the translated characters.

  • Dynamic Display: As the user reads through the content, the Braille display dynamically adjusts the position of the mechanical cells to represent the characters in the text. This creates a real-time, tactile representation of the digital content in Braille.

  • Navigation: Users can navigate through the text using buttons or other controls on the Braille display, allowing them to read line by line or jump to specific parts of the content.

Refreshable Braille displays are crucial for providing access to digital information, enhancing the independence and literacy of individuals with visual impairments in various aspects of life, including education, employment, and daily communication.

EU Horizon ABILITY project introduces a groundbreaking technology, offering an innovative solution for a low cost refreshable Braille display designed for visually impaired individuals.

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