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Tactile Displays for the Visually Impaired

People with visual impairment have serious difficulties in accessing digital information. Their access becomes even more problematic when the digital content is composed of graphic elements, which are particularly hard to translate. Tactile or haptic displays are the next frontier in communication, relaying texts and graphics through our sense of touch. So let them feel the internet!

The aim of this inducement prize is the development of an affordable, full-page tactile display, able to convey digital information in both braille and tactile graphics, improving access to digital information. The solution will mainly benefit blind and visually impaired people. Moreover, it could be used by people whose activities involve simultaneously vision and the touch function of hands (e.g: pilots).

Why this Prize?

Advances in technology have created major breakthroughs for the visually impaired. Instead of relying only on Braille, the visually impaired today have access to a much broader range of tools thanks to technology like text-to-speech and specialised keyboards. The digital revolution, however, has made communication increasingly visual. The Internet is full of videos, graphics and other rich multi-media that 30 million visually impaired Europeans are unable to see or benefit from. As the world becomes increasingly digital and Europe's ageing population grows, this problem is becoming more acute.

A full-page display supports the development of spatial awareness and ultimately grants users a greater independence to carry out day-to-day tasks. Beyond the device's social inclusive role, it also plays an important role in supporting literacy among blind students, as well as helping to tackle some of the challenges around employability for people with visual impairments.


The Tactile Display Horizon Prize will be awarded to an affordable, portable internet-enabled device with a full-page tactile display to be used by visually impaired and blind people. It is able to convey digital information in both braille and tactile graphics to improve access to and the understanding of digital information.


The call for submission will run from 17 April 2018 until 27 November 2018. The rules of contest are available online under