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Meet ELIA, A New Tactile Reading System

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The top row shows a standard alphabet. The middle row shows ELIA. And the bottom row depicts braille.

In 1829, Louis Braille published the first book introducing the braille system—and while the applications of braille have been immense, the system still relies on the outdated technologies of the 1800s.

This company created a modern, efficient alternative that’s incredibly easy to learn for people who have a visual impairment.

ELIA letters—known as ELIA Frames—leverage modern printing technology and design principles to optimize each letter’s design and create easily identifiable characters.

According to this company, ELIA Frames on the standard Roman alphabet, since roughly 70% of the world’s population uses it to read and write.

ELIA emerging from a specialized printer.


Each ELIA Frame features an outer frame (circle, square, house) and interior elements that combine to form the main characteristics of standard alphabet letters.

Currently, the employment rate among individuals with visual impairment is at an estimated 43%. For those who read braille, that rate soars to 85%. ELIA can have the same benefit for the 99% who can’t read braille.

A tactile ELIA skin on top of a standard keyboard.

ELIA Frames can be learned tactilely in as little as 3 hours—and visually in a few minutes—since the font leverages a previously established alphabet.

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Pass it on: Popular Science

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