Touchable ink can change the lives of many
With the number of tech start ups rising and competition increasing, companies are beginning to look outside the realms of what we once expected from technology and have begun searching for ways to positively impact the environment, animals, and minority groups.
A partnership between Samsung, advertising agency J Walter Thompson (JWT), and the chemistry department of Thammasat University in Thailand has resulted in the design and development of touchable ink.
The ink’s special feature is the ability to rise when heated, turning what would have once been a 2D picture or sentence into one which is embossed and 3D.
The team behind the design believes that with time the ink will be available for use in normal printers, saving around $3000 on the purchase of a traditional Braille embosser and lowering the cost per sheet from the current $1.1 to around 3 cents.
The project began after the advertising agency JWT performed surveys and research into the needs and difficulties of being visually impaired. They found that two of the most commonly occurring struggles focused on the cost and availability of Braille books and information.
This development could have a huge impact on the blind community, making information more accessible and affordable. The prototype is now undergoing testing by the Thailand Association of the Blind.
With the advances of technology certain aspects of life are becoming easier for the blind. Facebook recently launched a new feature which is able to describe a picture with the use of a screen reader, and Apple iPhones now have a VoiceOver function which helps the visually impaired use all of their phone’s features.