Today In Ridiculous Gadgetry Somebody Honestly Expects A Blind Person To Use: The TACTISPLAY Walk

Last Updated on: 27th December 2018, 05:00 pm

Seriously, when are people going to stop trying to foist this sort of horribly expensive, impractical garbage on us?

Let’s do this one more time.

  • A: A lot of blind people don’t wear glasses and we’re not going to start for the sole purpose of making your camera and giant backpack full of processors work properly.
  • B: As a general rule, if your design calls for a giant backpack filled with anything, start over. If your helpful device is going to render me unable to carry things I need or want to carry, it’s not happening. A not insignificant portion of my navigation is done for the purpose of bringing things from one place to another, which renders your thing pretty pointless, no? Keep in mind that one of our arms is already pretty tied up because either cane or dog, so any remaining hand, arm and shoulder space is important to us for reasons that should be but apparently are not obvious.
  • C: Speaking of hands, in this specific case, if they’re full, how am I going to be able to touch the raised representations of the graphics coming out of the camera?
  • D: If your design calls for goggles that are going to make us stand out even more than we do already simply because look at the blind guy, start over. If I’m afraid to leave the house because I’m going to look like a goof at best or something out of a science fiction story at worst, why would I need to buy your navigation system? Where am I going?
  • E: How am I supposed to know what I’m looking at? Figuring out how to turn pictures into shapes automatically is neat, but how am I supposed to be able to interpret any of it? How am I supposed to tell a light pole from a telephone pole or a tree from either one of those first 2, for instance? And how much of this stuff do I really need to know in the first place? There’s a big difference between useful information and things I just flat don’t care about or that get in the way of me getting around efficiently. For example, that there is a building nearby is often unimportant. What that building is is the important part. Is it the grocery store I’m trying to find or is it Frank’s house which I don’t care about because I don’t know Frank?
  • F: $7000? Are you kidding? A cell phone contract, a $20 app and an optional set of headphones is all it took me to get a system that will tell me almost exactly where I am whenever I need to know. Sure the phone bills will cost me more than 7 grand over time, but compare the number of things I can use my phone for vs. your backpack and glasses and let me know who wins.

Newly Developed Graphic Tactile Display For Blind People by Tactisplay Corp.
Mechanical eye for the blind people is ready for launching.
Mechanical eye for the blind people
    CHEONAN-SI, KOREA, May 04, 2015
— Tactisplay Corp. located in South Korea has developed a prototype of graphic tactile display for the blind people. This device has individually actuated 3,072 cells configured in 64 column with 48 rows. With this configuration, it can show graphic information in raised tactile dots.

There is an internal image processing engine which summarizes the image and extracts crutial graphic information for the display. When this device is connected to USB camera, image captured by the USB camera is displayed in the tactile dot array after image processing. When this device is connected to PC or notebook using ethernet cable, monitor screen image is automatically transferred to the device for the blind person to touch and feel what PC monitor is showing.
In this way, this device can be used as a mechanical eye for the blind people. There is no dangerous surgical operation required. User just need to carry the bag containing the device slung over the shoulder and clip USB camera to his/her eyeglasses to see the view.
This device, named TACTISPLAY Walk, is designed to be portable and be used outdoor. It has large battery inside which enables the device to operate 10 hours continuously. Its frontal area is little bit smaller than A4 paper and its thickess is 53mm (about two inches). Its weight is 2.5kg.
Pricing is not confirmed but they said that price will be under $7,000. It normally requires at least $20,000 for similar device.
They are planning to deliver commercial version of the device in two month. If you order today, you will be the owner of TACTISPLAY Walk in two months. Check website (
) for further information.
Tactisplay Corp. is a small firm located in South Korea and in the business since 2008. Our specialty is design and manufacture of microactuator and its robust controllers. This field requires in-depth knowledge and experience on a precision system design, micro-part machining, compact & low power controller design, robust firmware design, Windows/Mac/Linux S/W development and 3d printing for prototyping. Name of the company was changed from Santa Fe System to focus our business work force to tactile displays.
Contact Information
Jeong Yeol Lee
Tactisplay Corp.
Cheonan-si, Chungnam
Republic of Korea
Email Us Here

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  1. If you are blind, how about trying out

    It can free your hands.

    I don’t know resolution, but will not that high
    because of tongue sensitivity.

    Products in accessibility market are expensive,
    because of market size. $7000 expensive ?
    It depends. If you don’t agree, go out and make
    your own.

    1. Thanks for finding our blog.

      Before you get your hackles up and decide to tell us off for being horribly harsh, bear in mind, you’re talking to 2 blind people, not just some random person who found your product and decided to critique it. We know the market is small. We’ve bought our fair share of expensive devices. But those days are coming to an end, at least over in North America, and we’re more likely to buy a mainstream device with an app that does what we want than a niche market device.

      I’m curious. Did the developers talk to a lot of potential customers before building this thing? Or, did they just go on what they thought we would want? I’m asking honestly, not to be mean. I find a lot of devices are constructed without consulting actual blind people, or maybe they talk to one blind person and call it a day.

      I appreciate that someone is trying to help us…I just hope the end result is actually helpful. Sometimes, attempts to solve a problem only make things worse. But of course I’m saying that based on reading a description of the device, not seeing it.

      1. And sometimes people are trying to solve a problem that nobody has, which just creates new problems.

        Carin is right. There’s no substitute for actually seeing a device, but you can tell quite a bit from descriptions and so many times these devices seem needlessly complicated or worse yet, just needless.

    2. Wow. Using your tongue for navigation is a strange idea. It would take some getting used to for sure. I wonder how easy it is to talk while wearing one of those things.

      As for me, I certainly would never claim to be an inventor so you’ll likely never catch me building my own technology. But as somebody who has to use other people’s technology, I do feel I have every right to tell inventors where I think they’re doing things right or going wrong. The ones who truly care about their market should appreciate that, I think. Constructive feedback is a good thing no matter what business you’re in.

      Also, there are very few things in the world that I would pay $7000 for, so That part isn’t just a shot at companies who make products for blind people. But having said that, I do think some companies do charge too much because they know that in a lot of cases government agencies will help pay the costs for the user so they can get away with it (Freedom Scientific, I’m looking at you).

  2. i am not an inventor, neither. i think they are trying to make some graphic display, this walk product being one of the application. you know, many wants to get a graphic display similar to NIST developed (rotating wheel). but not available yet.

    some other companies are selling graphic display. KGS, metec AG… price is high. like $11,000 and $60,000. even the tongue sense product is expected to be $10,000

    in the other side, braille cell price is known to be very expensive, main reason of high price braille display. this kind of tech development by tactisplay, KGS … will help lowering price in the long run.

    maybe that all these products fail and disappear. all started by the wrong decision, maybe.

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