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Navigation Tablet for Visually Impaired People

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Here is a tablet developed to make life easier for visually impaired people. It quickly forms shapes and maps that users can explore with their fingers to find their way around. The tablet can also be used as an educational tool for younger users. EPFL researchers simply used a tiny magnet under each button between two coils and two thin layers of steel.

Any given button can be moved up or down by generating a local magnetic field by driving current through one of the coils for five milliseconds. The magnetized buttons then remain in the up or down position because they attach to one the two steel plates

The tablet comes with 192 buttons and Bluetooth. It lets users check the layout of a room or street before carrying on.

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