Braille single character "reader" ....

Does anybody know if it is possible to create a braille reader that consists of one single character only, with 6 or 8 pins pulsed by small electromagnets in unison, so as to deliver character information to one stationary finger, or is moving the finger along a reading list the only way blind people read braille?

The reason I ask is that some monhts ago I worked on a "chorded" keyboard, with the major feature being that one can enter data without having to look at it, using dual combinations of three to four keys ("chords") to create single characters.

I soon started looking at braille, except I wanted a one-hand device, and from there started to consider being able to read short messages using a single finger, on a device out of sight, for example in your pocket.

My feeble attempts at reading braille embossed in paper were not very successful :-)

I don't really know how it's done, but I saw just such a thing 30 years ago. It had an array of pins that you placed your finger on.

These days you can probably buy the pin-array gadget for $5 :)

I think you are describing a Braille "writer", not a Braille reader.

My college math/physics prof was blind. He used a standard Braille writing machine to emboss paper with characters. To read, he used both hands and Seemed to move several fingers over the same characters.

You may need to do more research on using just one finger to detect the pattern of active pins. I think your finger will not be able to correctly detect a new pattern after feeling several characters in a succession.

Another area of research is the size of the pin pattern needed to detect individual pins.

I also agree with Rob about seeing such a thing years ago. I do know such a device was used in punch card accounting devices to write on the cards as they moved through certain machines. One machined called an "interpreter". The "key punch" machines used a pin array to print while punching a column of holes in a card.

Now I recall the first small printers for personal computers also used a pin or needle array to print through a ribbon onto paper. Such pin arrays would probably be too small for your project.

Paul

Oh, my. I just did a Google search and discovered someone is way ahead of you.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X85VgBbboOg

Paul

Paul_KD7HB: Oh, my. I just did a Google search and discovered someone is way ahead of you.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X85VgBbboOg

Paul

:-)

Didn't get to see anybody putting a finger on it, and reading it.

Paul_KD7HB: I think you are describing a Braille "writer", not a Braille reader.

My college math/physics prof was blind. He used a standard Braille writing machine to emboss paper with characters. To read, he used both hands and Seemed to move several fingers over the same characters.

You may need to do more research on using just one finger to detect the pattern of active pins. I think your finger will not be able to correctly detect a new pattern after feeling several characters in a succession.

Another area of research is the size of the pin pattern needed to detect individual pins.

I also agree with Rob about seeing such a thing years ago. I do know such a device was used in punch card accounting devices to write on the cards as they moved through certain machines. One machined called an "interpreter". The "key punch" machines used a pin array to print while punching a column of holes in a card.

Now I recall the first small printers for personal computers also used a pin or needle array to print through a ribbon onto paper. Such pin arrays would probably be too small for your project.

Paul

Thanks, I've only seen braille being read in the TV show Daredevil, and wasn't ready to trust that as a reliable source of information :-)

I also suspected that detecting patterns of six segments on a single finger, would be harder than sliding it across. Braille readers seem to render lines of text, not single characters, and that's probably for a reason.

Would be cool to train one finger to read messages on a tiny vibro-pad of sorts, though.

One other area of research might be "cheating at card games". I recall there was a time when some people used a pocket Braille reader as you described to receive information from someone with a view of your opponents hand.

Paul