Skip NavigationMenu

Sharing tactile emojis

As we mentioned in a previous newsletter, we created a few of the newly suggested emojis as tactile diagrams for our visitors of the 2019 ZieZo exhibition. They were very well received. We are happy to share the four designs with you. You can download the designs here.

Please keep in mind that the images were created with TactileView and saved in .BPX format. In order to take full advantage of the tactile graphics you need a registered version of the software; printing them using the demo version will add some watermarks.

Emoji of blind person with cane

MDA initial idea

MDA initial idea generation

When we recently came across the first prototype of the compasses for the TactiPad, it got us thinking: what if we could motorise it? What if we used a motorised drawing arm to combine the best aspects of both the TactiPad drawing board and TactileView graphics software?

Read moreMDA initial idea

Theo’s challenge for the MDA

Theo and Jaap drawing a school logo with the MDA

I was looking forward to finding out what progress had been made on the motorized drawing arm since I saw the prototype at Sight village last year.
I heard that it could draw out pictures so I planned a test for it. First I downloaded a copy of my school logo (png file) onto my phone before Sight Village (2019).

Read moreTheo’s challenge for the MDA

Pass your upcoming math exams with the MDA

Graph sketched on the TactiPad by the MDA

The motorised drawing arm (MDA) is capable of sketching a wide variety of designs, created with the TactileView software, right onto the TactiPad drawing board. We will be demonstrating the full setup of our system at the SightCity exhibition in Frankfurt. We will show you how a student can use it to pass the upcoming math exams, or how a teacher can use our system to prepare math assignments. Of course, a great variety of different subjects can also be sketched…

Read morePass your upcoming math exams with the MDA

Two MDAs pre-ordered; are you next?

The moment has finally come: after a busy development period, we are proud to announce that the Motorised Drawing Arm (MDA) is now available for pre-order!

For us, it has been a very inspiring period since we first showed you this product idea. The MDA has certainly attracted a lot of attention so far!

The outcome of the development is a unique product to create tactile diagrams in a brand new way.
In short, a design from the TactileView sofware is sketched on the TactiPad drawing board by a motorised stylus, creating a reased line drawing.

Computer rendered image of the first production model of the MDA

New interactive applications
By combining accurate digital tactile graphics with the ability to expand these by hand, the MDA opens up a wide range of new interactive applications for students, teachers and professionals. Designs can be quickly reproduced for multiple users, for example several students in a classroom.

On our restyled Thinkable website, you can find all details about the use of the MDA or the different applications we have in mind.

MDA Smart Module
The MDA can also be extended with the Smart Module. Instead of connecting the MDA with USB to your computer, this Smart Module will enable you to wirelessly sketch a design on the MDA. You can even operate the sketching process via the browser on your smart phone or tablet!

Pre-order your MDA (and get a bonus)
We are currently preparing to first production run for the MDA, with an expected delivery date of June 30th 2018. You are invited to place your pre-order to be one of the very first people to start using the MDA. Better still, all pre-orders will receive the MDA Smart Module for free!

If instead you are interested in ordering the MDA at a later stage, we would also be very grateful if you could already let us know that you are interested. You can simply use our order page to notify us.

Experience the MDA at the ZieZo, CSUN and SightCity exhibitions
We have three exhibitions scheduled at which you can explore the possibilities of the MDA:

– March 16th and 17th at the ZieZo exhibition in Utrecht, the Netherlands;
– March 21st to 23rd at the CSUN Assistive Technology conference in San Diego, California. You can find us in the Irie-AT booth, nr 605;
– April 25th to 27th at the SightCity exhibition in Frankfurt, Germany.

Our open, transparent prototype will allow you to see all the inner workings behind the MDA’s drawing mechanism up close, while a computer generated render will show you the looks of the production model.

Parabola symbolising the year's end

The new parabola tool for the GraphGrid

New parabola tool on the TactiPad

With the end of the year fast approaching, we hope you can look forward to enjoying the holiday season.

For us, the end of the year resembles the curve of a parabola. Things will gradually slow down for a well-earned rest, until midnight on the 31st of December when everyone is holding their breath to welcome 2017. In the new year, everything will be picking up speed once more with renewed enthusiasm.

Plans for 2017

We are pleased to let you know that the GraphGrid accessory set for the TactiPad has been extended with three additional tools. These allow you to draw perfect parabolas, hyperbolas and concave or convex lenses.

But more on that later – for now, we want to wish you a merry Christmas and the happiest of New Years!

Introducing the brand new Motorised Drawing Arm at SightCity 2016

At Thinkable, we are constantly busy developing new innovations for our blind and visually impaired users. We are excited to introduce our latest product concept: the Motorised Drawing Arm (MDA).

To get a hands-on experience of the new MDA, visit us from May 18 to 20 at SightCity Frankfurt, the world’s largest annual exhibition for the blind and visually impaired. You can find us in booth D1, right beside the entrance of the main exhibition hall. Or pay us a virtual visit on the MDA page.

This computer model shows how the MDA is built up. The MDA's body is shaped like a large capital H with dimensions of approximately 37x43 cm across and 2.5 cm high. The TactiPad can be placed either in landscape or portrait orientation on top of this body. A motor-driven arm slides from back to front over the TactiPad, with a motorised pen moving from left to right along the arm. This pen moves across the surface of the TactiPad and creates the tactile image from the TactileView tactile graphics software.

Motorised Drawing Arm

The new MDA by Thinkable is a concept for a computer-driven motorised arm that draws tactile graphics by mechanically moving a ballpoint pen across the surface of our tactile drawing board. It aims to combine the accuracy of the digital tactile graphics from the TactileView software with the versatility of drawing by hand on the TactiPad drawing board.

This way, the MDA opens up unique interactive ways of making tactile graphics easily accessible. Being a low-cost alternative for creating tactile graphics, it will allow you to create tactile images in one go or even expand a drawing in multiple steps by adding successive digital and/or manual elements.

Motorised Drawing Arm website

On the website dedicated to the development of the MDA, you can explore the applications, product concept, user requirements and technical information. Leave a reply to contribute your own ideas and suggestions!


Introducing new braille grid and measurements grid

In this newsletter, we would like to announce that Thinkable will shortly release a new version of TactileView, the most powerful tactile graphics editor available on the market. In this version, the emphasis lays on new convenient tools that will help you with accurate alignment of texts and objects in your design. With these, getting the right page layout has never been easier.

Introducing the braille grid and measurements grid

In the upcoming version of the TactileView software, the new braille grid and revised measurements grid will be introduced. These are great tools that help you to manage the layout of your design by easily aligning and placing text labels and graphic elements.

Highlighting the braille grid (above) and measurements grid (below)

The braille grid is primarily used to align text labels in a regular grid and conform to certain layout guidelines, whereas the measurements grid is mostly used to align objects and visualize their size.

Using these grids, you can easily:

  • Manage the size of inserted objects (measurements grid)
  • Control distances between elements (measurements grid)
  • Place text labels in a regular grid or on the same row/column (braille grid)
  • Align objects with text labels (subsequently using both alignment grids)

ATIA 2016 logo
Hands-on demonstration at the ATIA
Held on February 3-6 in Orlando, Florida, the ATIA conference is one of the largest international conferences on assistive technology. To get a hands-on demonstration of the TactiPad drawing board and TactileView software, including the new features in the upcoming release version, visit Irie-AT in booth 804 at the ATIA.

Keep the TactileView manual at hand – download the PDF version

In our previous newsletter, the TactileView manual page and tutorial section were introduced. This richly illustrated user guide allows you to look up any software functionality you might need. From installation and setting up to creating and printing your very own tactile graphics – it’s all in there.

TactileView manual on a smartphone and tablet

By popular demand, this software manual is now also available in a downloadable PDF version! This way, you can always keep the user guide at hand on your mobile device or save it on your computer for offline use.

Download PDF icon
Download the PDF version of the TactileView software manual

P.s. – Why not use the manual and tutorials as a guide to create the most original and personalised Christmas cards in braille?