Fw: Pocket Braille for people on the move: zb051015
andor at nl.linux.org
Sun Oct 16 17:23:24 UTC 2005
in theory I'd say this looks very intersting.
combine it wiht a sharp zaurus with buildin keyboad and you're doen for
your mobile system.
Smallest display sofar available soams to be baum's portavario(brailliant
On Sun, 16 Oct 2005, Ari wrote:
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "TNAUK" <tnauk at dircon.co.uk>
> To: "TNAUK" <tnauk at dircon.co.uk>
> Sent: Saturday, October 15, 2005 7:04 PM
> Subject: Pocket Braille for people on the move: zb051015
> > Pocket Braille for people on the move
> > The article below may be of general interest to TNAUK subscribers
> > - it is article number 35 of this week's New Scientist, ns051015.
> > #35 Pocket Braille for people on the move
> > Celeste Biever
> > AT LAST, the world's first portable electronic Braille display. It
> > is small enough to fit in a pocket and can even be rolled up like
> > a newspaper.
> > The display consists of a sheet of tiny plastic paddles that bend
> > in response to a voltage. It is designed to connect to a
> > cellphone or laptop, and could also replace the liquid crystal
> > screen of an ordinary PDA.
> > Existing dynamic displays for blind people use an array of pins
> > that pop up when stimulated by piezoelectric actuators. But the
> > smallest versions are the size of a phone book and weigh about
> > 500 grams, mainly because of the rigid fibreglass board the
> > actuators are mounted on. 'It's moderately portable, but you
> > certainly can't put it in your pocket,' says Curtis Chang of the
> > National Federation for the Blind in Des Moines, Iowa. At $3800
> > each, they are also too expensive for most people. 'I think the
> > new display is a great idea,' Chang says.
> > It will almost certainly be cheaper. Created by Takao Someya and
> > his team at the University of Tokyo, the display is made entirely
> > of a flexible polymer and thin metal films. These layers can be
> > printed using low-cost deposition techniques, making a price tag
> > of as little as $100 a distinct possibility, says Someya.
> > The 16-centimetre-square prototype is just 1 millimetre thick and
> > weighs 5 grams. A grid of organic transistors sits on a polymer
> > membrane, with 144 plastic paddles on top. The entire device is
> > coated with thin rubber.
> > The paddles are made of a negatively charged polymer seeded with
> > positively charged lithium ions and sandwiched between two metal
> > electrodes (see Diagram). When a voltage is applied across the
> > electrodes, the lithium ions migrate to the negative electrode on
> > the lower side of the paddle. The result is a crowd of ions at
> > the bottom, which expands the polymer and makes it bend upwards.
> > On the tip of each paddle is a sphere under a millimetre across,
> > which rises when the paddle bends, causing a bump in the rubber
> > surface. When the current is switched off, the ions disperse back
> > into the polymer, the paddle straightens and the bump disappears.
> > The paddles take just under a second to move up or down, which is
> > acceptable for reading a book or a short message, but not for
> > someone working, says Chang. To make them move faster the
> > transistors need to be made smaller, so the electrons have less
> > distance to travel between the transistors' on and off state.
> > This might be possible using nanofabrication techniques, says
> > Someya.
> > Someya will present the device at the International Electron
> > Devices meeting in Washington DC in December.
> > The devices could also go beyond Braille and recreate whole scenes
> > on their surface, allowing the blind to feel images as well as
> > words. 'The idea is to create an array of tiny pixels,' says
> > Yoseph Bar-Cohen, an expert in Electro-active polymers at NASA's
> > Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.
> > But he is concerned the force of the paddles in Someya's device
> > may be too weak. 'If a blind person cannot feel the movement of
> > the dots, the device will not be practical.'
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Andor Demarteau E-mail: andor at nl.linux.org
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