Samsungs Touchable Ink prints braille using any laser printer

first_imgBraille printers can cost thousands of dollars, where as laser printers can be picked up for under $100. So wouldn’t it be great is laser printers could somehow print out braille and completely remove the cost of purchasing a special printer for the visually impaired? That’s exactly what Samsung have managed to do thanks to a new ink.Your typical laser printer produces a completely smooth printed page. That doesn’t work for braille as visually impaired people rely on the raised dots that form the braille patterns in order to read using their fingers. So Samsung collaborated with the Thailand Association of the Blind and a chemistry professor at Thammasat University to solve the problem in ink rather than hardware.The end result is called Touchable Ink. It’s a laser printer ink that has had embossing powder added to it. Using it is simple: just switch out a standard laser ink cartridge for a Touchable Ink version. Then change the font of the document you want to print into braille and print the page. The final step involves heat. Using a hair dryer or a microwave heat the printed page, which makes the ink dilate and form the raised dots.Touchable Ink is still a work in progress, but has proved good enough even at this early stage of development to be awarded the Grand Prix award for Design, Healthcare and Innovation at Spikes Asia 2016. Tests carried out with visually impaired individuals saw a 90% success rate in being able to read Touchable Ink printed pages.As the braille printing only relies on using Touchable Ink, it should work with any and all laser printers. And even if Touchable Ink cartridges are a little more expensive than the standard ones, it’s still going to be a lot cheaper than buying a special braille printer.last_img read more