Of the many uses one can think of for the iPad, being useful to a blind person probably wouldn’t appear on most people’s list. Yanko Design has a concept of a cover for the iPad that transforms its flat surface into braille. The Omnifer, which is the name for this innovative cover, is a 2011 IDEA Award entry.
The cover has a three panel flip design that allows the user to switch between braille and standard operation. The thin, flat surface of the brail overlay has gas pockets that expands when exposed to light. An app running on the iPad translates what is normally displayed on the screen into dots of light that then react with the gas to expand and produce the braille.
Obviously, the design is very innovative, and if it can be produced to be sold at an affordable price, it could enable blind people to participate in the latest tablet computing technology. The Omnifer brings a whole new meaning to the definition of touch screen, or in this case the touch case.