Tactile Display Allows Visually Impaired Users To Feel 3D Objects

A team at Stanford University is working on a way to display 3D information, using a “2.5D” display made up of pins that can be raised or lowered as sort of tactile pixels. The device is a 12×24 array of thin columns with rounded tops that can be individually told to rise anywhere from a fraction of an inch to several inches above the plane.

This system opens up the possibility of visually impaired people being able to get an intuitive understanding of a 3D object — something that’s difficult to express in non-visual ways.

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