With so many people interacting with flat touch screens you may wonder how this will affect blind users. Yes, Apple’s operating systems are very accessible utilizing screen readers and voice recognition software, but those flat, smooth touch screens don’t allow for much tactile feedback.
Disney is working on creating touch screens that can actually give users the virtual feel of items displayed on the screen. Using haptic technology, Disney says they can map “the frictional forces between the screen and the users finger to the slope of the desired virtual surface creating a realistic tactile sensation.”
In other words, the screen can produce friction and vibrations that mimic the textures and ridges of three dimensional items essentially “tricking the brain” into thinking that you are touching a real object and not just a flat screen.
Imagine how this technology could change the world of the flat touch screen for blind users! Buttons and links could be tactile, words could be rendered in braille and images could be touchable!