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If each blind student had a teacher to explain to him, it would be much easier for him to assimilate information. And if he could take his teacher home, to continue his study, it would be even better. It’s already so. Now, any blind person can have a personal virtual assistant with him, wherever he is – at home, at school, or in the park. And his assistant is called Tactile Images READER. 

 

In this article, you will learn what the Tactile Images companion App is and how the blind can use it for the individual study of tactile graphics. 

 

  1. About the Tactile Images READER App
  2. Where can you download the Application?
  3. How does the Application work?
  4. What are the tactile graphics?
  5. Where can you get tactile graphics? 

a) Download the tactile graphics

b) Print the tactile graphics

c) Emboss the tactile graphics

6. How can you explore tactile graphics? 

7. The future of the App

1. About the Tactile Images READER App

 

This mobile Application was explicitly created for the study of the blind. It uses modern technologies like Interactive Augmented Reality to study the position of the finger on tactile graphics and voice-over to vocalize information. The connection between the tactile graphics, of which you will find out more immediately, and the Application is made through a QR code. 

2.Where can you download the Application?

You can download the companion application from the AppStore. Currently, it is only available for the iPhone, but will be available for Android as well in the future.

3. How does the application work?

When you think of an application, you expect it to interact with you. You expect to be required to press buttons to enjoy new options. Because it is designed for the blind, the Tactile Images READER application does not have buttons or colors and does not interact with you. As its name suggests, it has the role of “reading” tactile boards. 

 

Once you download the Application, the mobile phone should be placed above the tactile graphic, preferably on a stand, for added security. The Application will identify the tactile graphic with the aid of image recognition and artificial intelligence algorithms.

 

Odată aplicația descărcată, telefonul mobil trebuie așezat deasupra planșei tactile, preferabil pe un stativ, pentru mai multă siguranță. Aplicația va identifica planșa folosindu-se de algoritmi de cunoaștere a imaginii și gestul utilizatorului prin algoritmi de inteligență artificială. 

3. What are the tactile graphics?

Tactile graphics are used by the blind to perceive various images through touch. They are graphs whose lines are embossed because this is the only way a blind person can perceive a drawing.

 

The embossing can be done with different techniques, and the quality of the tactile graphic depends on the highlighting method.

5. Where can you get tactile graphics?

a) Download tactile graphics

Find as many tactile graphics you want in the LIBRARY of the e-learning platform tactileimages.org. There, hundreds of graphics, on different themes, are waiting to be downloaded for free.

b) Print the tactile graphics

You need a standard printer so that you can print the downloaded tactile graphic.

c) Emboss the tactile graphics

You can use several methods to emboss tactile graphics. You can use swell paper or thermoforming techniques, but if you don’t have access to them at home, you can emboss with manual methods. We can teach you how to do it. It’s simple and inexpensive! You only need syringes and materials like adhesive, glue, or even food. 

 

We are creating a DIY PRINTER, which works with a syringe and adhesive system. We will also provide you with a manual so you can create one at home. With your printer, you will be able to print as many tactile graphics as you want.

6. How can you explore tactile graphics?

You have the embossed tactile graphic. You have the App. The cell phone is located above the graphic, so you can start exploring. If the Application recognizes the graphic, it will tell you its name. As you walk your fingers on the tactile graphic, you will hear a beep at one point. That means that you have come to an area of ​​interest. Squeeze your fist and stretch your forefinger!

 

If you want to find out information about a particular area, stop your finger and wait for the activation of the voice. It activates after the three beeps (beep, beep, beep). 

 

Even if you went through all the areas of interest, there’s more to explore. You can find the description of the whole sheet above, next to the title written in Braille. And if you’re a curios person and want to know as much as possible about the tactile graphic, position your finger next to the QR code, on the top left of the board. You will hear the voice of the specialist, who gives you a lot of information about the tactile graphic.

7. The future of the App

The Tactile Images READER Application is just at the beginning. It is now in the Alpha stage. Because there are many developmental possibilities, we are set to make it available for Android as soon as possible. We hope that this will facilitate the individual study for as many blind people as possible. 

We need you to be able to see this dream come true. Your help matters a lot right now. What can you do? Test our Application yourself and write to us if you find any irregularities. And if you think you can help us with a donation, we thank you. 

Do you have questions regarding the Tactile Images READER application? Leave us your suggestions or concerns in the comment section below! 

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