By Chuong Nguyen | August 18, 2009 12:54 PM
A concept braille phone complete with a braille keypad and a morphing plastic display shows off the distinct area where technology and needs collide to reveal a new paradigm for touch. Touchscreen phones have long been around since the early Palm, Windows Mobile, and Newton days, only to be popularized again by Apple with the iPhone onslaught. However, to the visually impair, the difference between the accuracy of resistive touchscreen technology and capacitive finger-friendly screens is not even an issue if they don’t even know what’s on the screen.
The new braille concept phone bridges touchscreen tech for the visually impaired. The area at the top of the phone, traditionally reserved for touchscreen displays, is used to house the Electric Active Plastic (EAP) technology. Essentially, the screen looks like smooth plastic, but can morph to produce raised indention and form braille lettering so the visually impaired can touch.
While the phone is still a concept at this stage, it would be interesting to see the adaptation of this concept into different user interfaces and if the screen technology can make touchscreens even better for the non-visually impaired. The biggest complaint with touchscreens is the lack of tactile feedback and we’ve seen various technologies implemented to combat this issue from haptic vibration feedback to SurePress technology on the BlackBerry Storm.