One of the biggest problems for blind students is the ability the view and draw charts, graphs, maps, floor plans, geometric shapes, and functions.
The Orbit Graphiti, provided by the American Printing House for the Blind, is a tactile display, about the size of a laptop with a multilayered display of 40 by 60 pins of varying heights.
The device can be used to display images from a connected computer or from an SD card. The user can also draw their own images on the surface of the device. This image can either be displayed on a computer monitor for sighted people to see, or saved to the SD card as a visual image. The blind person will see their drawing as a tactile representation on the Graphiti, but sighted people will see it as a visual image.
If you wish to view the Orbit Graphiti in person, it will be on display at CSUN 2017 in Sandiego on Thursday March 2nd at 1:20PM PST in Balboa AB, on the 2nd floor of the Seaport Tower.
From the Developer
Access to graphical information is a significant challenge for people who are blind and visually impaired. With the increased dependency on technology in schools, the lack of access to on-screen graphics can be an impediment to learning for students with visual impairments.
Graphiti is a dynamic multilevel tactile touch display developed by Orbit Research for the American Printing House for the Blind. This revolutionary display was developed in conjunction with the Transforming Braille project. Graphiti allows students and adults to access a wide variety of on-screen graphics by touch. This includes pie charts, bar graphs, geometric forms, maps, floor-plans, flow-charts, line drawings, and dynamic graphical content.
Graphiti’s breakthrough technology allows graphics to be depicted by means of an array of variable-height pins. To change to the next graphic, the pins on the refreshable display move up and down to create a tactile representation of the graphic. Graphiti can display topographical maps and other features such as grey levels and colors.
The final full-page unit consists of a 40 x 60 grid of variable-height, equidistant pins. Graphiti features the ability to detect touch, so the student can draw, zoom, or scroll directly on the display pins. Graphiti can display tactile versions of images of most file types.
Features and Specifications of Final Full-Page Unit
• Standard letter-size unit (8.5 x 11 inch), with a display area of 9.7 x 6.4 inches, has portrait or landscape orientation.
• Slim in height, approximately 1.5 inches
• Upgradable via supplied USB cable
• Touch interface including the ability to scroll, zoom, draw and erase
• Ability to save an image drawn by touch to a PC
• User-configurable buttons for control and navigation
• Haptic (vibrating) feedback interface
• Protective cover
• Full size SD-card slot
• User can review and save files from the SD card (stand alone)
• LED and tactile power indicator
• Easy to maintain and service
• Built-in protection against fluids and dust
• Dynamic, independent refreshable pins
• 40 by 60 grid of equidistant pins
• Pins maintain their state without any power consumption
• Variable pin height – provides ability to present additional information for tactile graphics, such as color or importance
• Pins can be made to “blink” at configurable rates
• Auto power-off
• Rechargeable battery (user-replaceable)
• Battery or AC adapter operation. Standard USB connectivity
• Includes accessories: AC adapter/charger, USB cable
• Usable while charging on separate supply. Has two ports one for connection and one for power
• HDMI port, allowing the device to be used as a monitor
• USB port