This could change the way the visually impaired could use their phones


People who are visually impaired have a much harder time using their phones compared to the rest of us. This is because our smartphones are largely visual, which means that if a person is visually impaired or completely blind, they can’t really see what’s on the screen.

Smartphone makers have included various accessibility tools to help those with visual impairments “see” what’s on their screen by reading it out loud, but now thanks to the work of researchers at the Future Interfaces Group at Carnegie Mellon University, that could change for the better.

This is because the researchers have created haptic motors that can be squeezed behind an OLED display. The researchers refer to this as “embedded electroosmotic pumps”, which are hydraulics-based haptics that will actually lift up portions of the screen when activated. This means that in theory, it could be used to produce braille on the displays of phones so that the user touching it can “see” what’s on their phones.

It’s actually a pretty awesome idea, and it could also be used beyond an accessibility feature. It could be used to alert users to important notifications that quite literally stand out from the rest. It could also be used to provide actual tactile feedback when typing on your phone’s keyboard.

We’re not sure if there are plans to actually develop this tech and use it in our phones, but it’s something to keep an eye out for!

Source: TechCrunch

Tyler Lee
A graphic novelist wannabe. Amateur chef. Mechanical keyboard enthusiast. Writer of tech with over a decade of experience. Juggles between using a Mac and Windows PC, switches between iOS and Android, believes in the best of both worlds.

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