Braille modules and Braille keyboards
Accessible communication with Piezo technology

Accessibility through Braille modules for the visually impaired

Feel the words of innovation

The writing and reading system used by people who are visually impaired is called Braille. An original Braille cell consists of 6 raised dots, arranged in two columns. This arrangement has been extended to an 8 dot code (4 dots per column) enabling 256 possible combinations.

Louis Braille established this matrix in the year 1850, about 30 years before Jacques and Pierre Curie discovered the Piezo effect. About 170 years later you came across our experience on braille modules. Get inspired by our endless options for innovative Piezo actuator solutions from Johnson Matthey Piezo Products with the highest quality made in Germany.

Tactile feedback for millions of fingertips

For a long time, embossed dots on paper were the only way to process information about Braille. In the 1980s, the industrialized production of reliable piezoceramics changed the lives of millions of blind people. Piezo bending operations have always been the perfect technology to lift the pins of an electromechanical device to display Braille characters.

Piezoceramic actuators are combined in modules of 8 pins, each pin being moved up or down by a Piezo bender. The letters generated in this way can be put together to form a complete Braille keyboard with up to 80 modules (letters). Screen readers for converting the digital content into control signals for the keyboard are integrated in most operating systems.

The possibilities for displaying Braille content are still being expanded today. Our proven piezo technology can be used to operate dynamically tactile displays with several thousand points and refresh rates in the range of a few milliseconds. Piezo bending transducers are the key technology for good tactile conversion.

Worldwide pioneers in Braille technology

Developing and producing Piezo technology for Braille keyboards belongs to our oldest core competences at all. We are proud of our long hands-on experience with Braille technology.

We are a main supplier for this application worldwide. Many market leading braille manufacturers rely on our experience. Our quality management system allows to maintain very high quality standards and the market knows exactly how JM cares with “made in Germany”. Millions of fingertips today feel the tactile feedback from content out of a growing digital lifestyle — made possible with technology from Johnson Matthey Piezo Products.

Our compact and cost-efficient Braille cell

32 pin Braille-cell from Johnson Matthey

We designed a compact and cost-efficient Braille cell, incorporating Piezo bending actuators, mechanics and basic electronic parts required for connecting and driving. The cell design with 32 Pins in a single module allows to streamline components and production processes.

  • Engineered for cost efficiency
  • Easy and time saving service, dismantling, cleaning
  • Pins not falling out during cell dismantling
  • Compact in size to fit into many device designs
  • Braille cell incorporating 4×8 Piezo benders for cost saving

Braille modules or keyboards are just one example of a successful application in an endless area. Think of tactile feedback that combines sensor and actuator properties, integrated into smart devices for a perfect user experience.

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Let Piezo move your ideas