Rubik’s cube for the blind

Fun & Games
Rubik’s cube for the blind

From Yanko Design. [via Boing Boing]

16 thoughts on “Rubik’s cube for the blind

  1. 8-bit Geek says:

    This looks more like it was for the sake of design than actual accessibility. I have one of the Blind Man’s Pyraminx and consider it to be much nicer. It uses unique textures for each side instead of brail. Also, the sides are still colored for sighted users. Have a look at the following link.

    1. Sean Michael Ragan says:

      Visually, the all-white cube with bumps is appealing to the sighted, but (as a commenter on Boing Boing pointed out) from a purely functional point of view, if the faces were still colored, the cube would be usable in both tactile and the familiar visual mode. And your “unique textures” idea seems like it would work just as well, or better, and be easier to manufacture than the braille version.

      Thanks for the comment and the link!

  2. Brian Doom says:

    I think it’s pretty clear this design concept is more for art than its stated purpose. To summarize:
    – this cube is not very usable – the faces feel too similar
    – rotating Braille ends up with different or unreadable letters
    – …additionally, not all blind people know Braille
    – the most obvious issue: sighted people would not be able to use the cube easily

    Here’s my offering, made in 2002 (but posted just now!) which addresses some of these very issues:

    In addition, there’s enough information there to easily make your own. Very easily! Like, “a single trip to OSH/Lowe’s” easy. It should be a breeze for Makers!

    1. 8-bit Geek says:

      The directionality of the Braille was addressed in their design. That is the purpose of those little nibs at the bottom of each square. As we both indicated, usability is very suspect as compared to tactile elements.

    2. Sean Michael Ragan says:

      Thank you! I just blogged it. Please forgive me all the predictable “Doom” jokes. I’m sure you never get that at all…


      1. Brian Doom says:

        Rock on, Sean!

  3. CircuitGizmo says:

    When the Rubik’s Cube was all the rave people would ask me if I could complete the cube. My answer was frequently that I can complete all sides except for one.

    Rarely did anyone question that.

  4. brocktastic says:

    I made a similar modification to my Rubik’s cube when I was a kid. I removed all of the stickers, poked a specific number of holes in each color (ie – one hole in white, two in blue) from back to front and put the stickers back on. The plastic of the stickers was thick enough that poking the holes left a significant bump. This way I was able to do the cube in the dark on long car rides, etc. (Sadly, in the many years since then I have forgotten how to solve all but the top and first row of the cube, which isn’t all that impressive to my kids.)

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I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I am a long-time contributor to MAKE magazine and My work has also appeared in ReadyMade, c't – Magazin für Computertechnik, and The Wall Street Journal.

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