You place your hand over a surface that sends very concentrated ultrasound. This allows you to feel the dots of the Braille alphabet. Designed to distribute sensitive information, for example in cash dispensers. Also useful in these Covid times.

This morning, a whole new way of reading in Braille. And in this pandemic period, it takes on its full meaning: we will be able to feel the letters without touching anything, keeping our hands in the air.

We place our hand about twenty centimeters above a sort of grid. With inside, a whole series of micro-speakers that will blow ultrasound. So we won't hear anything. But as they are very concentrated, we will feel small dots on the skin. Just like the dots that make up the letters of the Braille alphabet. So it's a kind of screen. But instead of projecting images for the eyes, it projects tactile sensations for the hand. And by the way, it avoids catching germs ...

Is it already in use somewhere?

Yes. We test it on ATMs. You may have noticed, on some models, a jack. It is used to guide the visually impaired by voice. So do not forget your helmet, otherwise you remain blocked. We are not going to shout the balance or the last operations out loud. While the screen-blower, will be able to give any information while preserving confidentiality. It is a technology developed by engineers from the University of Bayreuth in Germany. What would be great is that it could also work on touch screens. 

Today, they cannot be used by the visually impaired ...

We are working on it. The objective? Create a screen that is both blowing and capable of displaying images. For those who can see well, it would work like a conventional touch screen. But the visually impaired person could decipher what is displayed by simply running his hand over it. And when he wants to click, he presses a button. It's still research. But it would finally have the same screen for everyone.