Since the contribution of women is gaining importance during elections amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, even the poll of visually-impaired individuals holds significance. This is when tactile printing comes into picture.
Tactile printing is transforming the lives of visually-impaired individuals. According to Article 2 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Braille is essential for education, social inclusion and for the freedom of expression or opinion.
Since the World Health Organization (WHO) estimated that nearly 45 million people are either visually impaired or fully blind, packaging and labelling companies are altering their materials to meet their needs. This is evident since increasing number of countries have already mandated Braille on medical packaging.
Creating tactile educational materials (TEM) for visually impaired or fully blind individuals is potentially challenging since different students have different grasping abilities. This challenge has led to the introduction of the TacPic System, which is integrated with artificial intelligence (AI) cloud computing capabilities. Such technologies are helping to increase the availability for TEM which is interesting enough to trigger the student’s motivation.
Soft tactile sensors (STSs) are emerging as a game-changer with the help of additive manufacturing (AM). Such trends are leading to innovations in 4D (4 dimensional) printing technologies that are being used in wearable electronic devices. Multi-material-type AM processing can simultaneously integrate diverse material species to their on-demand positions, allowing for the rapid and cost-effective fabrication of electronic devices.
Similarly, 3D (3 dimensional)-printed flexible and hybrid wearable bioelectronics tactile sensors made from biocompatible nanocomposites are playing a positive role in health monitoring. Such innovations are grabbing the attention of healthcare practitioners since physiological signals contain a wealth of personal health information which needs continuous monitoring for early detection of chronic diseases.
In all, tactile printing is playing a monumental role in creating accessible images for education, packaging and health monitoring applications amongst others.