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A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words…But What If You Couldn’t See It?

That question comes from the Tactile Picture Books Project, which is a fascinating, inspiring, and just downright brilliant use of technology.

What is it? Some researchers at the University of Colorado have created 3-D printed storybooks for visually impaired children. Think braille on steroids.

Images literally emerge from the page, formed into shapes of the objects within the book’s text. They allow visually impaired kids to get a better sense of the elements of a story, like landscapes.

Check out these examples from Goodnight Moon, which show the text and the braille, followed by the 3-D printed images: 







The project, as I mentioned, is called “The Tactile Picture Books Project,” and it’s based out of the University of Colorado. Their vision is simply this: “One day, every household will have a 3D printer to make tactile picture books for children to touch and enjoy at home.”

What an amazing use of technology.

They’ve also created books for Harold and the Purple Crayon and Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear? The books are still a work in progress, so they aren’t for sale, but this is definitely a project worth keeping your eye on over the next few years.

For some legitimate reasons, the rapid growth and evolution of technology gets a bad rap these days. But this is just a reminder of how awesome it can be. And, when used properly, how it can improve quality of life beyond anything we could have imagined even 10 years ago.

Find out more (including how to donate and help out) about The Tactile Picture Books project.

Images: Via Tactile Books Project

60 Comments Post a comment
  1. Reblogged this on Author P.S. Bartlett and commented:
    Oh my goodness! 3D Books for visually impaired children…YES!


    August 27, 2014
  2. Oh my god this is absolutely incredible!


    August 27, 2014
  3. That is so cool! I think I’m looking forward to the day when everyone has a 3-D printer at home.


    August 27, 2014
  4. A tactile Charlotte’s Web would take quite a bit of work, but would be worth the effort!


    August 27, 2014
  5. I just got teary-eyes thinking of parents sharing these beautiful books with their kids!


    August 28, 2014
    • Hopefully they will figure out a way to make these books widespread so everyone who needs them can use them.


      August 28, 2014
  6. This is brilliant!


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