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Braille Technology

We are living in a Digital Revolution, which is making dramatic changes to our lives every day. Leveraging these technologies can provide the blind and visually impaired affordable, unlimited access to the digital world, yet participating in the Digital Age begins with literacy. Digital audio apps are useful, but listening is not literacy. Everyone, blind or sighted, must be able to read and write. Even as technology has become the primary means of communication, braille remains relevant. Those who learn braille and develop fluency with technology have a significant advantage, but it must be affordable to truly level the playing field. Team CBI is hard at work striving to make that happen.


Watch a video about NBP's work with braille technology and literacy.

Through its Center for Braille Innovation, NBP is finding ways to reduce the steep costs of refreshable technologies for braille and tactile graphics. NBP has connected with universities and researchers around the globe to identify potential methods that can reduce the cost of braille. See Products in Development Here.

Team CBI's first solution to improve braille technology began in 2010 with the concept for the b2g (braille to go). The b2g is a lower-cost, 20 cell, portable, Android braille computer that will be launched in 2015. See our b2g page for more details. We have raised funds from individuals, foundations, and corporations to develop it, and we are in the final phase production now.

A rendition of a haptic tablet showing a finger feeling a button that isn't physically present.
A rendition of a haptic tablet showing a finger feeling a button that isn't physically present.

CBI is also connecting with major institutions, universities and private research facilities to explore how electro-active polymers (EAPs), electro-mechanical, haptics, and microfluidic approaches might be used not just for braille, but also to create a tactile graphic array.

A photo of a plastic sheet of braille made with  an organic polymer, courtesy of Dr. Takao Someya at University of Tokyo.
A plastic sheet of braille made with an organic polymer, courtesy of Dr. Takao Someya at University of Tokyo.

Participating in the Digital Age Begins with Literacy

Blind and visually impaired people are challenged in their daily lives by living in a sighted world. Audio tools are useful, but listening is not literacy. Everyone, blind or sighted, must be able to read and write. Even as technology has become the primary means of communication, braille remains relevant. Those who learn braille and develop fluency with technology have a significant advantage, but it must be affordable to truly level the playing field. Team CBI is hard at work striving to make that happen.



Download a Braille Alphabet Card

Learn about the Center for Braille Innovation

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