Researchers at the EPFL in Switzerland have developed a new device to aid the visually impaired with mobility and the understanding of visual concepts such as maps and geometric shapes. The Blindpad as it is known, uses a system of tiny coils and magnets to raise pins on the device and help a visually impaired person create a mental map of where they are going. The device is 12 cm by 15 cm and is meant to be used as a navigational aid along with a white cane.
The Blindpad is currently being used in Poland and Italy to help children understand geometric shapes and graphs. Since the device is bluetooth capable, it can quickly be connected to a computer and instantly display such items for a visually impaired child.
You can check out more by reading a summary of the Blindpad. Additionally, if you want to see how this device is being tested and read the associated research articles, check out a more thorough description of the Blindpad project.