Refreshable Braille Display

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Of 40 million blind people in the world, only 10% can read and write braille.
One of the primary reason for this is because braille hasn't yet found its footing in the digital era, due to the sheer cost of such devices, as well as the affordability matrix of the visually impaired.

Low-cost braille displays have been sought after for quite a while with no avail.
Commercially available braille displays employ peizo-electric actuated pins, which are very expensive.

Due to the sheer expense of braille technology, and the scarce availability of books in braille, the medium is slowly falling out of favour. But many agree that braille literacy is paramount for the empowerment of the blind for education and employment.

Possible outcomes of this initiative:

-Increase in efficiency at work/higher throughput, enabling better-paying jobs.
-Ability to use services like instant messaging better ( and thus aid communication, reach, and network for the visually impaired)
- BLIND CODERS! : would enable and encourage more visually impaired to take up coding, and hence improve their social and financial status

User group feedback:

Taking Feedback from the visually impaired community in my city, I've improved on the industrial design .

the keys of the device would be curved so that fingers do not slip off of the buttons. Also, tactile feedback is important, thus, appropriate buttons will be selected.

Using a USB micro cable adds additional challenge of orientation, and appropriate indicators must be embossed on the cable end, and the device to prevent confusion.

Design/Engineering considerations:

3D Printable

No drivers required

Off the shelf components
Low cost




Voting is closed!


  • Name:
    Vijay Varada
  • Type of entry:
  • Profession:
  • Vijay is inspired by:
    I have been working with braille for about 3 years now. My first attempt at a prototype used a dot-matrix printer head:

    I've attended conferences addressing issues for the visually impaired, and learning first hand of the difficulties faced buy them accessing information inspired me to start this project.
  • Patent status: