Braille was developed in 1825 and since then has been enormously helpful in allowing blind people to read. But there are limitations on it, such as the difficulty in going back and finding a previous passage to re-read.
Snail is a concept from Wonkook Lee for a Braille reader that can be carried anywhere and run over any Braille text to produce an audible “text-to-voice” effect. It’s basically a rolling wheel, with a contacting pressure-sensitive touchpad surface to detect the presence and patterns of raised Braille points. The device houses a speaker, but would also have Bluetooth connectivity for use with a headset for quiet reading when that is desired. To help recall what’s been read before, there is a recording and playback function.
In addition to the issues with finding previous passages, it also addresses difficulties in learning to read by touch and the slow pace that Braille reading often requires.
Are you blind, or do you know someone who is? Would this be a useful tool to make reading easier? Let us know in the comments.