BLITAB is the world’s first tactile tablet for blind and visually impaired people (http://blitab.com). The Austrian innovation team demonstrated the BLITAB at CES (Consumer Electronics Show) in Las Vegas on January 5 – 8, 2017. In addition, the BLITAB was one of the 12 finalists at TechCrunch Hardware Battlefield.
BLITAB produces small physical bubbles in an area above its touchscreen which provides refresh double lines of refreshable Braille display. In another word, the device creates tactile Braille and graphics in real-time by using small physical bubbles instead of a screen display. The tablet can convert any text file online or upload read large text files (i.e. books) with USB sticks or memory cards. It has Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
Even now, most braille readers and braille note taker devices are expensive ($3000 and up). In addition, maintaining the devices’ hardware and software may be challenging. Some note taker devices can pair with tablets, phones or computers. However, users often have difficulties interfacing between their devices and their PCs over the years. This is because their devices may become incompatible with the frequent updates of the operating systems on the PCs. As a result, users may give up operating their old braille readers and note taker devices.
BLITAB tablet with built-in refreshable braille display can operate by itself without paring to a computer and is less expensive than other braille readers or braille note taker devices. They are scheduled to be priced around $500 and are to become available on the market in 6 months. The company is now offering pre-order online (http://blitab.com/#contact). Soon we may be able to see BLITAB tablets in school or work to help the blind and people who suffer from impaired vision.
BLITAB First Tactile Tablet for Blind People (YouTube)
Additional information: A Tablet for the Blind at CES 2017 (YouTube)