Portable Braille interface ‘Squibble’ lets blind access a cellphone

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While modern gadgets have revolutionized the lifestyles of contemporary users, technology still remains a bane for the visually impaired. Raising a ray of hope, British designer Andrew Mitchell has devised a portable Braille interface called “Squibble” that provides tactile, audio and high contrast visual feedback for the blind, allowing users to access their mobile phones and other technology anytime, anywhere. Regardless of where it is used, the Squibble gives the chance for personal interaction as well as freedom, as it neatly fits into a pocket and connects via Bluetooth. Moreover, it tries to negate the stigma of assisted products and provides a stylish and desirable solution for a market segment that is often neglected.

Designed to maximize the internal space, using an external metal chassis to maintain rigidity, the Squibble uses 779 ultrasonic motors to provide tactile feedback through Braille and other universally recognizable symbols for quick access. Providing illumination through caps on each motor, the device also includes a grip that lets the blind read Braille without placing the device on a surface. When the caps press against the user-replaceable silicone cover, they provide illumination for each of the raised dots.

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    • joyce
    • January 4th, 2010

    I’m still totally obsessed with using this idea for mass consumption of tactile surfaces! Do you know if it is on the market?

    • I’m not sure. I’d reach out to them and see if they have any plans on productizing.

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