Tablets for the blind leave a lot to be desired, so the University of Michigan has conjured up a pneumatic Braille tablet that stands to be more cost effective and user friendly than any other technology currently available.
Right now, for $3,000 to $5,000 those with visual impairments can purchase a mechanized Braille tablet that uses electricity to serve up new lines of text. That means they have to read books a single line at a time. To have a full-page reading device would cost somewhere in the realm of $55,000, according to researchers at the University of Michigan. The single-line reader also can't accommodate for graphs and other visual data that might be on a page.
University of Michigan researchers are currently developing a morphing Braille display that uses pressurized gas or liquid to bring up a new page of text. The tablet, which draws its design from Apple's iPad and the Amazon Kindle, could cost as little as $1,000 once manufactured, according to Cosmos magazine.