BLITAB® – first tactile tablet for the blind

BLITAB® – first tactile tablet for the blind

  • BLITAB tablet for blind people - final product
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    BLITAB tablet for blind people - final product
  • Two operation screens - tactile & touch
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    Two operation screens - tactile & touch
  • Tactile smart technology already patented
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    Tactile smart technology already patented
  • Testing process of the tactile liquid dots
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    Testing process of the tactile liquid dots
  • BLITAB team assembling the beta tablet
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    BLITAB team assembling the beta tablet
  • Alpha and Beta BLITAB tablet
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    Alpha and Beta BLITAB tablet
  • Procurement of all electronics and assembling
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    Procurement of all electronics and assembling
  • Sketches of the initial prototype
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    Sketches of the initial prototype
  • Sketches of the housing material
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    Sketches of the housing material
  • BLITAB tablet in the hands of blind users
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    BLITAB tablet in the hands of blind users
BLITAB® – first tactile tablet for the blind
What It Does

BLITAB® is the first-ever Braille tablet, using an innovative liquid-based technology and accessible intuitive design to create tactile relief outputting braille, graphics and maps for blind and partially sighted users.

The Inspiration

It all began at one of courses at the university.A blind student asked me for help to register for classes because he couldn’t do it by himself. I was just shocked. I went home and did some research. Then I realized that the technology boom over the past few years, with the advent of the Internet and Smartphones, had not benefited everyone. Blind and visually impaired users can not experience now digital Braille text, images and science in a dynamic, affordable and portable way. That's how BLITAB was born.

How It Works

BLITAB® is World's first Braille tactile tablet, using an innovative actuating technology to create tactile Braille, graphics and maps for people with sight loss. People call it the “iPad” for the blind that no one has seen before because we invented a revolutionary tactile display that allows for the first time blind people to learn, work and play with one mobile device with innovative accessible design. So we are solving the biggest social problems of more than 285 million people worldwide and more than 20 million just in USA by giving in their hands digital access to information and education, which leads to employment generation and equality empowerment.
BLITAB® converts any document into Braille text. You can plug a USB flash drive or connect to Wi-Fi. The tablet surface raises little smart tactile dots from the surface, which we call “tixels” (from “tactile pixels”).Users can read a full page of text at a time but also listen to the text-to-speech voice.

Stages of Development

The idea of a tactile Braille tablet born in 2014 was just 1% of its execution.Since then we developed and patented new actuating scalable technology and put it into a user-friendly design.The technology we invented gave us the opportunity to reproduce one full page of Braille. But how blind users are going to type and edit text and navigate through the screen? These were just some of the questions that we worked on intensively.After more than 3500+ testing session globally, we adapted BLITAB® alpha design with Perkins- (Braille) keyboard into a new touchscreen interface.
So now BLITAB® is fully designed according to the needs of the blind users and not post-adapted as many assistive devices are. BLITAB® offers completely new experience for Braille and non-Braille readers via touch navigation, text-to-speech output and Perkins-style keyboard software application. BLITAB® is not just a tablet, it is a platform for all existing and future applications for blind readers.

This is a great example of how creative design and disrupting high-tech drives social change and inclusion, and contributes to a higher literacy rate among children with visual disabilities.

Novelty

BLITAB® tablet's design inspires, educates and makes people independent. The tablet consists of two main functional parts: a Braille tactile screen with 14 lines changing surface and touch screen for below the Braille screen, for navigation and application usage. A blind child can open his/her homework in math and can read it in Braille (via Braille screen) or listen the task but also can touch the math figures for the first time thanks to the dynamically changing Braille screen. Some people prefer to listen, others- to experience via their fingers. But Braille remains in both cases the only fundamental tool for education and employment for people with sight loss.
Current solutions on the market are Braille displays that are old,expensive (cost between $2,500 to $14,000) due to the technology used),inefficient and provide just one line of Braille text. All this leads to low literacy rate among blind children, high unemployment and after all social isolation.

Future Plans

BLITAB® is currently in beta testing and preparation for commercialization phase.
Financing the go-to-market activities and design distribution are the main next steps to further dissemination, and consequently BLITAB® is looking for potential partners in every country and has already established a global network of potential distributors. BLITAB team shares the vision of revolutionizing how blind people have access to information through a profitable and sustainable business model.

Awards

- Global Social Venture Competition, First Prize Global Winner 2016
- European Winner for Social Entrepreneurship and Disability, by EU-Commission
- World's Business Creative Start-up, Creative Business Cup 2015
- Most Investable Company at Creative Business Cup 2015
- INDEX DESIGN Award Nominee 2015