Electronic 3D book concept helps visually impaired kids feel the magic of fairy tales

Reading is already a difficult task for people with visual impairments, but it’s especially challenging when it comes to material that involves a lot of visual elements. Adults might have not much of a problem visualizing those words in their minds, but children who are still developing their mental libraries will probably have a harder time. Fairy tales and fictional books with fantasy elements are examples of these highly visual materials, and simply hearing the narration or feeling the words through Braille feels rather insufficient to capture the emotions and magic of the stories. This electronic book concept tries to offer an equally magical experience that makes the objects and scenes pop out from the book, almost literally.

Designers: Subin Kim, Yujeong Shin, Seungyeon Lee

It’s pretty amazing how blind and visually impaired people can read a book while sliding their hands across seemingly random dots, almost like magic. But the text on a page doesn’t exactly show the images associated with the words, relying on your imagination to conjure up those associations mentally. Of course, that comes almost like second nature for those with normal eyesight, but the visually impaired, especially younger ones, need a bigger boost to help match words with shapes and objects.

bbook is a concept for an electronic 3D book that provides all the necessary tools for a child with visual impairments to not only make sense of but also enjoy such fantastical books. It has an audio component that reads the book out loud, with large tactile buttons that let the reader skip forward or backward as desired. There’s also a dynamic Braille “page” where dots rise and sink as the words change.


The most interesting part of the book, however, is the fabric-like material on the opposite page. This soft material would also rise to create bumps but not as words in Braille but as actual three-dimensional objects related to the story being told. It could be Snow White’s apple, Cinderella’s glass slipper, or the wolf in Little Red Riding Hood. In addition to the educational value of this feature, it also helps make the story feel even more magical.

Every part of the 3D book was designed so that a visually impaired individual could use it without assistance. Even the charging indicators are elevating dots rather than LEDs so they can feel how much more time it needs. bbook also has a rather interesting feature where each individual story is inserted into the device like a USB stick, making each tale a memorable and magical experience.