I've been researching on the software and drivers needed to bridge from Brailleback and VoiceOver to the refreshable display, but not much I have found. I am truly surprised how little to no development available made by the public on refreshable displays. I will need help on that part.
Anyways I have designed the iphone-size 20 cells display and it seems all to be very feasible and I am more excited to prototype this than my original 40 cell 2 line design. Sadly, the 5mm thickness dream had faded away because of mechanism restrictions, it will be 15mm thick. Sad trumpet noise.
Meanwhile I was reading how blind people watch movies, it is very interesting to have descriptive audio read out loud to them. I was thinking how movie theater can be made accessible to the VI, with bluetooth technology to pair displays to the projector. Instead of playing audio description, the displays will describe, making the experience more inclusive.
I've been thinking, once I have the materials to contstruct a proof of concept prototype, I would demonstrate the sheer minuscule size of it. Perhaps something integrated to the lives of the users. Phone integration maybe? It would be thin enough to be used as a case like the image below I got from Google.
Not quite sure the practicality of it but it would be an awesome prototype to play with. It would totally fit 20 characters in the size of an iPhone height wise.
Currently waiting for my servo motors to arrive so I can start prototyping.
Today we're gonna talk about limits.
I just read that there is a standard in Braille display configurations because of the standard paper size we use every day. 40 cells per line that is. Now this gave me an idea on how much display is enough.
But I was thinking of pushing it to the limits. It is possible for the user to purchase 80 cell displays, which means that someone could tolerate that whopping 50cm length of finger reading. It seems to me that's a far stretch (pun intended) from a ergonomic perspective. What if I could stack the cells in 4 layers which could produce 4 lines of cells top, and 4 bottom. Each line has 80 cells. That would be an insane 640 cells while maintaining that 1 inch thickness.
Now, who could utilize such... such ridiculous amount of cells? I was reading how the blind could be in IT amazes me. That 640 cells would benefit especially having to read hundreds of lines of code. Speaking as an engineer my self, anyone who is dealing with numbers would go for the more the better. I would, and I am planning to get a bigger monitor myself.
The i2c com has a 127 limit on number of slaves. That means 127 cells is the limit. If you could tell me how to get pass that and work with 640 cells please leave a message in the public chat.
I was looking at how paper Braille books are produced and how the perkin Braille embossed works. I wonder if I could use the existing display as an embosser? If I could place 2 stepper motors for rollers, like an inkjet printer would, the rollers would reel the paper and the display pins would emboss those prints on the paper.
Now the challenge is the user interface. It would be really nice if there is a combination of 3 line displays, that is 2 for display, 1 for printing. As the user types a document, the characters are displayed for spell check, and the printer would print automatically once a line is complete. Currently getting inspirations from Star Trek and perhaps the Simpsons. They predict the future pretty accurately I'd say. Like the iPad from Star Trek.
These are the section views with the combinations of steps in a stepping motor. Front view fo the cam shows how they would depress these two levers at different timings. Just a concept. I hope it works just as good in real life.
I am a complete stranger to the visually impared world. I don't know what are the specifications needed for Braille and their functions. I googled Braille dimensions and got what I needed to get started. As you can see in the image, there are levers which act like see saw. A cam will rotate to toggle the see saw at one end and the pin would raise on the other. It looks feasible but I am not too sure if SLA printers would be kind enough to give me the tolerances I need.
Initially i thought Li ion batteries would be an ideal candidate to power the motors because they could draw a lot of power and again li i
ons are thin. But I thought about how AAA batteries are more accessible and it would give an edge of thickness. The thickness could be the orientation of the display. A user would read knowing the orientation by the bump of the AAA batteries.
I am not quite sure if the amount of motor drivers would fit but these are TBD later on. A raspberry pi pico rendered would be ideal but I am a little skeptical how it would connect to smartphones and most importantly the internet. Perhaps a Zero W would be the perfect choice? Firmware is not my expertise. I will leave it to the professionals.
Braille display is crazy expensive and it is the year 2021 everyone, this should be accessed economically.
I had this concept of using actuator magnets to leverage the pins on the Braille display, but it would render it too thick. Self made actuators are not DIY friendly as well.
One day I was at work clicking my pen, and I immediately thought the significance of toggle switches. A click would make the pen up and another, down. I really liked the concept and it would use less actuators. But again, my goal is to make it thinner. (Yes, I am obsessed with the thickness.)
One of the fundamentals of mechanics is the dynamic movement of a part. A part could only move if a force is applied. Immediately I thought of a camshaft.
Now camshaft is easy to understand, but what drives it isnt. I knew that a rotational motion would turn a cam but it needs to be at a certain angle. I knew that even the smallest servos could not fit within the given specifications of Braille.
What braille and computers have in common is binary. Zeros and Ones. In order to process 2 bits of information, there are 4 possibilities. Next to servos is *the secret sauce* - Stepper motors. Stepper motors have many phases and they would most likely to have at least 2 phases with 90 degree angles.
A complete rotation has 360 degrees, thus 4 sets of 90 degrees would fit the bill of 4 combinations, and that would mean 2 bits of information is stored in one stepper motor.