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Disney Researchers develop tactile feedback touch screen technology

Touch Screen Feedback Technology has Huge Potential for Visually Impaired People

Disney are creating a tablet screen with tactile feedback that will help visually impaired people.

New touchscreen technology

Disney create an innovation in touchscreen technology

Touchscreens get better all the time but researchers at Disney have thrown another innovation into the mix. The research team at the American mass media corporation have discovered an amazing way to generate tactile feedback on a smooth glass display. With Google already making leaps and bound with their Google Glass it’s exciting to see other companies making headway too.

This new technology offers huge potential for people living with visual impairments. It turns a touchscreen into a physically accessible and tactile object. It gives huge functionality – imagine a touchscreen keyboard that you can physically feel each key. This research could be truly revolutionary.

Electrovibration and Haptic Technology

Who knows where this will lead next! The research team discovered that the sensation of feeling any bump on any surface came mainly from the skin on the fingertip being pulled and stretched out of shape as it passed over the bump. They have then been able to replicate this exact sensation on a perfectly flat surface and this is achieved through electrovibration.

Electrovibration can be used to create electrostatic forces which then create friction against the finger creating that touch sensation. This is just one half of the research however.

The other half of this exciting development is a unique algorithm the Disney research team developed which generates these frictional forces dependent upon whatever is on any given screen. They have created an algorithm which will show stairs as a series of rigid steps whilst a ball would have a gradually curving surface. The technique is little more than a very clever trick but as far as anyone can see it works!

Haptic Technology and Visual Impairments

The initial thoughts when considering how this new development can be used have led people to think about gaming, interactive touchable story books and most importantly revolutionising touchscreen devices for people living with visual impairments. The display of a touchscreen tablet or phone could have all the tactile functionality of physical items around the home without any additional bulk.

Mobile devices are more popular than ever before and those living with disabilities may find themselves more reliant on them than others. This technology could truly take the usefulness of smartphones for people with disabilities to another level and there is scope for helping people with visual impairments navigating their environment with more understanding and comfort.

This is research Disney have been working on for many years and it seems they’ve finally cracked it. We’re excited to see where this technology goes next and whether it’s long before it’s available to be tried and tested. For now we’ve got this video which shows the technology in action:

If you have any ideas of how this technology may help you, please leave a comment below.

For the Disney Research page about this technology – click here

Low-Tech Lifesavers: The Lite Cup Night Light

Lite Cup Night Light

The lite cup night light is a handy drinking aid for night time drinks and hydrating in the dark. The built in light and non-spill features make it a useful bedside cup.

At Living with Disability, we like to take into consideration the opinions and experiences of the blogging community and anybody living with disabilities who has discovered a great item that makes their life a little bit easier. We’ve previously discussed products as recommended by Tourettes Hero such as simple wrist straps and life changing weighted blankets and today we’re looking at an item recommended by Danni, found on Twitter as @Dannilion, a blogger who describes herself as ‘quite disabled’ and that ‘finding products that make life easier and increase my independence is very important to me’. With this in mind, Danni wrote a blog post all about her favourite items including the seemingly simple Lite Cup Night Light . At Living with Disability we’d never heard of the Litecup before so taking a closer look at it, we  agreed with Danni, it really is a great product.

Litecup – Night Light and No Spill Cup in One


The Litecup is a clever little cup which features a non spill lid and a light in its base, which comes on automatically in the dark. Brilliant if you’re looking for your drink late at night and avoids the risk of spills. There are many different reasons that this product could be a great addition to your range of kitchen accessories and Danni explains that she likes it specifically because of its non-spill top. This allows her to drink whilst laid down as there are days where she finds it hard to leave bed and we believe many of our readers will recognise this experience. The Litecup comes in a range of different colours so you can pick a lid that suits your personal preference and it’s a great, affordable product which can make drinking much easier and less challenging.

Reviews of the product praise its robust build and ease of use. They also rate how long lasting the light is and how it can be knocked over without causing any spills. The Litecup is a great product which we believe many people could benefit from and we thank Dannilion for bringing it to our attention.

The Litecup is available on Amazon.

 

To see the full range of colours click here

Essential Items: Talking Watches

Essential Items: Talking Watches

Living with a visual impairment can make what used to seem very straightforward suddenly very difficult. Simple things like getting out and about and even telling the time can become more difficult and hard to manage without support. However, maintaining an independent and active lifestyle is not something that has to be sacrificed because of partial or even total sigh loss. Thinking back to telling the time, this is of course an essential requirement throughout the working day and the UK’s sight loss and visual impairment charity RNIB have once again created a product which solves this problem. Like with their Liquid Level Indicators and Talking Tin Lids, the RNIB approve products which they believe are able to have a positive impact on the lives of people living with a range of visual impairments. What’s more, their watches range has recently been extended to include children’s models and there are some really great designs soon to be launched.

Talking Watches


The Talking Watches range from RNIB, in partnership with Lifemax strives to provide a range of different and attractive watches for those living with visually impairments. Some products provided for those living with disabilities have the stigma of appearing clunky and clinical but as the photos show, this range of watches are both fashionable and completely suitable for every day use. The watch speaks in a clear, audible voice providing both time and date information when requested and the analogue or digital face of the designs is also clear and large for those who still maintain a degree of sight.

Positive Customer Reviews

Customers who have purchased products from the RNIB talking watches range have been extremely impressed with the results, with customers highlighting that the well designed products are no more expensive than a regular watch but have considerable extra functionality. What’s more, the product range includes designs from the most simple to more complex so you can choose a feature rich model if you like your gadgets or keep it simple if you just want a standard timepiece. Click in the below boxes to purchase your own talking watch from RNIB and look at the whole range.

 

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title SALE – RNIB Talking Atomic Watch – Metallic Bracelet with clasp [Electronics] Atomic Talking Watch With Leather Strap MSF Ladies Quartz Talking Wristwatch on Stainless Steel Bracelet strap with clasp – adjustable Lifemax Talking Digital Watch extra large LCD Talking LCD Analogue and Digital Watch Ladies Talking Watch with Steel Finish – Leather Strap
Binding Electronics Personal Care Electronics Misc. Personal Care
price 31.55 26.50 21.74 11.85 14.95 49.99
reviews Read Reviews Read Reviews Read Reviews Read Reviews Read Reviews Read Reviews
link More Info More Info More Info More Info More Info More Info
Brand 407 Health and Care MSF UK_Kitchens Health and Care Carewear Clothing
Manufacturer 407 Health and Care MSF Limited KDWC.co.uk Health and Care Carewear Clothing
ProductGroup Watch Health and Beauty Watch Kitchen Sports Health and Beauty
ProductTypeName CONSUMER_ELECTRONICS HEALTH_PERSONAL_CARE CONSUMER_ELECTRONICS HOME_FURNITURE_AND_DECOR SPORTING_GOODS HEALTH_PERSONAL_CARE
Title SALE – RNIB Talking Atomic Watch – Metallic Bracelet with clasp [Electronics] Atomic Talking Watch With Leather Strap MSF Ladies Quartz Talking Wristwatch on Stainless Steel Bracelet strap with clasp – adjustable Lifemax Talking Digital Watch extra large LCD Talking LCD Analogue and Digital Watch Ladies Talking Watch with Steel Finish – Leather Strap
Reviews Read Reviews Read Reviews Read Reviews Read Reviews Read Reviews Read Reviews
Link More Info More Info More Info More Info More Info More Info