This subweb explores some ideas regarding creation of a web application,
based on commodity hardware and open source software.
Tiles are time-consuming to fabricate,
making them expensive and unsuited to demand-based generation.
So, it would be nice to have an economical solution that solves these problems.
Using open source software and commodity hardware,
such a solution might be possible.
Also, devices such as a one-line braille terminal
seem poorly suited to scanning documents (e.g., code, data)
that encode structural information via a 2D layout.
Much of the software needed to fabricate a tile
can be repurposed to support web-based access.
The Data Paths
page details my use of Inkscape
to support laser-engraved tiles.
The diagram below sketches out a way to extend this
to support web-based access:
Basically, the idea is to serve SVG
(generated by Inkscape, QGIS, etc.) on a web site.
-based single-page application
would allow the user to access this content on a client computer
(e.g., desktop, handheld, notebook, tablet).
The user would indicate a point of interest
using a pick device
such as a
Although the device does not strictly need to have a visual display,
this could be useful for a sighted assistant or a visually-impaired user.
The computer would respond with audible feedback (e.g., speech, tones).
A separate control stream (e.g., keyboard, voice) would allow the user
to modify the response mode(s) without moving her finger from the POI.
My work on the prototype has barely begun.
I have set up an Android tablet
with an attached keyboard and headphones.
However, because the client-side software is a single-page application
(running inside a web browser
many other hardware and software configurations are possible.
I also have assorted web servers that can serve static test content
This should suffice for a proof of concept
This wiki page is maintained by Rich Morin
an independent consultant specializing in software design, development, and documentation.
Please feel free to email
comments, inquiries, suggestions, etc!