Technologies of Future

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Technologies of Future

March 17th, 2017 by

10 Types of Smartphone Displays, Touchscreens

October 31st, 2016 by

There are many different types of displays / touchscreens available across the range of smartphones and it is important that we know about them before buying one. Over last one year smartphones with large smartphone displays and touchscreens have really become popular. In this post we explain different types of displays and touchscreens and their pros and cons.

TFT LCD

TFT stands for Thin Film Transistor technology. TFT LCDs are the most common type of display units used across mobile phones. TFT LCD offer better image quality and higher resolutions compared to earlier generation LCD displays but their limitation lies in narrow viewing angles and poor visibility in direct light or sunlight.

Large TFT displays consume more power and hence are not battery friendly. But since these are cheaper to manufacture these are found on budget phones, feature phones and lower end smartphones.

IPS-LCD

IPS stands for In-Place Switching. If you compare TFT vs IPS, then IPS LCDs are superior to normal TFT LCD displays with wider viewing angles and lower power consumption which leads to a much improved battery life. IPS-LCDs are costlier than normal TFT LCD and hence are found only on higher end smartphones. A higher resolution (640 x 960 pixels) version of IPS LCD is used in Apple iPhone 4 and is called Retina Display because of its brilliant picture quality.

Resistive Touchscreen LCD

Touchscreen LCD displays are of two types – Resistive and Capacitive. Resistive touchscreens contain two layer of conductive material with a very small gap between them which acts as a resistance. When the resistive touchscreen is touched with finger (or stylus) the two layers meet at the point of touch thus making a circuit at the point of touch. This information is recognized by the mobile’s processor / chip and passed on to the mobile’s OS there by triggering and event / action at the point of touch.

Resistive Touchscreens are not as responsive as capacitive touchscreens and often require a stylus to identify point of touch accurately. These are used only in lower end smartphones and feature touch phones.

Capacitive Touchsceen LCD

Capacitive touchscreen technology consists of a layer of glass coated with a transparent conductor (like indium tin oxide). When a capacitive touchscreen is touched by human body (finger), an interruption is created in the screens electrostatic field (which is measurable as a change in capacitance) which is detected by phone’s processor or chip and which in turn instructs phone’s operating system to trigger and event or action accordingly.

Capacitive touchsceens are much better and responsive to human touch when compared to resistive touchsceens and hence the user experience for touch is much better with capacitive touchscreens. Capacitive Touchsceens are used in most of the higher end smartphones.

OLED

OLED stands for Organic Light Emitting Diode and is a newer technology for type of displays of mobiles and monitors. In OLED technology a layer of organic material (carbon based) is sandwiched between two conducting sheets (an anode and a cathode), which in turn are sandwiched between a glass top plate (seal) and a glass bottom plate (substrate). When electric pulse is applied the two conducting sheets, electro-luminescent light is produced directly from the organic material sandwiched between. Brightness and color can vary depending on the electric pulse.

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OLEDs are much better compared to LCDs because of their exceptional color reproduction, blazing fast response times, wider viewing angles, higher brightness and extremely light weight designs.

AMOLED

AMOLED stands for Active-Matrix Organic Light-Emitting Diode. AMOLED displays are a type of OLED displays for mobiles and are rapidly gaining popularity in top end smartphone segment. AMOLED screens have all the attributes of an OLED display like brilliant color reproduction, light weight, better battery life, higher brightness and sharpness and light weight designs.

AMOLED displays are now getting into main stream and most of the latest higher end smartphones like Nokia N8 are now coming with AMOLED displays. If you can shell out a little extra, our suggestion is to go with AMOLEDs over TFT LCDs.

Super AMOLED

Super AMOLED displays are an even advanced version of AMOLED displays developed by Samsung. Super AMOLED display is built with touch sensors on the display itself, as opposed to creating a separate touch sensitive layer (as in capacitive touchscreen). This makes it the thinnest display technology on the market.

Super AMOLED displays are also much more responsive than other AMOLED displays. Samsung’s recent top of the line smartphone Samsung Galaxy S I9000 comes with Super AMOLED.

Retina Display

Retina Display is a term used by Apple for its high resolution (640 x 960 pixels) IPS LCD (with backlit LED) used by them in iPhone4. They call it the Retina display because its pixels cannot be individually identified by the human eye, thus making the display super sharp and brilliant.

Haptic / Tactile touchscreen

Haptic technology has been used by Blackberry and Nokia for their touchscreen smartphones targeted towards enterprise market. This technology provides a tactile feedback on a touch action on the screen thus providing an immediate and unmistakable confirmation to the user. Haptic technology has been found to significantly improve user performance, accuracy and satisfaction while typing on a touchscreen.

Gorilla Glass

Gorilla Glass is a special alkali-aluminosilicate glass shield with exceptional damage resistance that helps protect mobile displays from scratches, drops, and bumps of everyday use. Many companies like Motorola, Samsung and Nokia are now using Gorilla Glass to make their mobile displays more durable and reliable. It is always better to go for a smartphone with Gorilla Glass for that added protection and peace of mind.

So next time someone asks you about their TFT vs IPS capacitive touchscreen, or ask you for advice about mobile display types, you are now more informed.

 

Holoportation: virtual 3D teleportation in real-time (Microsoft Research)

March 26th, 2016 by

Holoportation is a new type of 3D capture technology that allows high quality 3D models of people to be reconstructed, compressed, and transmitted anywhere in the world in real-time. When combined with mixed reality displays such as HoloLens, this technology allows users to see and interact with remote participants in 3D as if they are actually present in their physical space. Communicating and interacting with remote users becomes as natural as face to face communication.

So, can you unfold the human brain?

February 6th, 2016 by

The distinctive troughs and crests of the human brain are not present in most animals; highly folded brains are seen only in a handful of species, including some primates, dolphins, elephants, and pigs. In humans, folding begins in fetal brains around the 20th week of gestation and is completed only when the child is about 18 months old.

Why the brain is folded can be rationalized easily from an evolutionary perspective: Folded brains likely evolved to fit a large cortex into a small volume with the benefit of reducing neuronal wiring length and improving cognitive function.

Less understood is how the brain folds. Several hypotheses have been proposed, but none have been directly used to make testable predictions. Now, researchers at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, collaborating with scientists in Finland and France, have shown that while many molecular processes are important in determining cellular events, what ultimately causes the brain to fold is a simple mechanical instability associated with buckling.

Understanding how the brain folds could help unlock the inner workings of the brain and unravel brain-related disorders, as function often follows form.

“We found that we could mimic cortical folding using a very simple physical principle and get results qualitatively similar to what we see in real fetal brains,” said L. Mahadevan, the Lola England de Valpine Professor of Applied Mathematics, Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, and Physics.

The number, size, shape, and position of neuronal cells present during brain growth all lead to the expansion of the gray matter, known as the cortex, relative to the underlying white matter. This puts the cortex under compression, leading in turn to a mechanical instability that causes it to crease locally.

“This simple evolutionary innovation, with iterations and variations, allows for a large cortex to be packed into a small volume, and is likely the dominant cause behind brain folding, known as gyrification,” said Mahadevan, who is also a core faculty member of the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering and a member of the Kavli Institute for Bionano Science and Technology, both at Harvard University.

Mahadevan’s previous research found that the growth differential between the brain’s outer cortex and the soft tissue underneath explains the variations in the folding patterns across organisms in terms of just two parameters, the relative size of the brain and the relative expansion of the cortex.

Building on this, the team collaborated with neuroanatomists and radiologists in France and directly tested this theory using data from human fetuses. The team made a 3-D, gel model of a smooth fetal brain based on MRI images. The model’s surface was coated with a thin layer of elastomer gel, as an analog of the cortex. To mimic cortical expansion, the gel brain was immersed in a solvent that is absorbed by the outer layer, causing it to swell relative to the deeper regions. Within minutes of being immersed in liquid solvent, the resulting compression led to the formation of folds similar in size and shape to real brains.

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The extent of the similarities surprised even the researchers. “When I put the model into the solvent, I knew there should be folding but I never expected that kind of close pattern compared to human brain,” said Jun Young Chung, a postdoctoral fellow and co-first author of the paper. “It looks like a real brain.”

The key to those similarities lies in the unique shape of the human brain.

“The geometry of the brain is really important because it serves to orient the folds in certain directions,” said Chung. “Our model, which has the same large-scale geometry and curvature as a human brain, leads to the formation of folds that matches those seen in real fetal brains quite well.”

The largest folds seen in the model gel brain are similar in shape, size, and orientation to what is seen in the fetal brain, and can be replicated in multiple gel experiments. The smallest folds are not conserved, mirroring similar variations across human brains.

“Brains are not exactly the same from one human to another, but we should all have the same major folds in order to be healthy,” said Chung. “Our research shows that if a part of the brain does not grow properly, or if the global geometry is disrupted, we may not have the major folds in the right place, which may cause dysfunction in the brain.”

This research was co-authored by co-first author Tuomas Tallinen of Jyvaskyla University in Finland, François Rousseau from the Institut Mines-Télécom in France, Nadine Girard and Julien Lefèvre of the University of Aix-Marseille, France. It was supported by Academy of Finland, the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, and fellowships from the MacArthur Foundation and the Radcliffe Institute.

 

Courtesy :Harvard News

India to Launch its own GPS , better than existing system.

December 10th, 2015 by

Untitled-15-750x500Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has played a key role in the development of our nation over the years. With its impressive space missions, ISRO has clearly put India on the map when it comes to space exploration. It is really breathtaking what we have achieved in a short span of 46 years. (ISRO was officially established in 1969)

Now onto the news: ISRO has planned to launch India’s very own GPS system. It’s called Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) and its main purpose is to provide better GPS connectivity in the remote regions of the nation, as well as in other parts. The area of coverage encompasses all of India and 1,500 kms around the national boundaries.

The IRNSS system is actually a constellation of seven satellites. Three will be deployed in geostationary orbits while remaining four are deployed in geosynchronous orbits. All of them will be identically configured. A geosynchronous orbit is one in which an object returns to the same position in the sky after a period of one day (approx. 23 hours, 56 minutes and 4 seconds).

The orbit is inclined and eccentric i.e. not circular. A geostationary orbit is a special case of a geosynchronous orbit which is a circular orbit with zero inclination, and directly above the equator. An object in such an orbit will seem stationary to a ground observer, like a star.

Why all the technicality? Because it is an important precursor to the following point: Communication satellites are generally placed in geostationary orbits so that the ground and satellite antennas don’t have to be moved during communication. Instead, given the nature of the orbit, the antennas can remain pointed to a single location in the sky.

Back to the IRNSS; the system will provide two kinds of services.

1. Standard Positioning Service (SPS) – The conventional GPS service, open to all users.

2. Restricted Service (RS) – Secured service only meant only for authorized personnel.

The IRNSS mission is a big step towards technology-independence and sure to bring advantages.

Source:http://gadgets.ndtv.com

How satellite phones work?

July 11th, 2015 by

When most people think of satellite phones, they picture huge, clunky devices that went out of style with the early 90s. But they’ve come a long way, and there are actually a lot of situations in which they can be extremely useful. We’ll take a look at a few here, as well as discuss some of the options for buying your own sat phone.
Why Use a Satellite Phone?

In the days of ubiquitous smartphones, why would you ever need a satellite phone? In short, because cell towers aren’t always reliable. If one gets knocked out and others gets flooded with calls in the case of an emergency or a disaster, the network can quickly become overloaded. Or if you’re in a particularly remote area — deep in the mountains or desert, out at sea, or very far north or south — you might not be able to communicate with a tower, leaving your cellular phone useless.

A satellite phone solves that problem by receiving coverage almost anywhere in the world. There are different satellite networks, but most of them cover most of the world’s landmass, with some even providing good coverage at the north and south poles. No matter where you are, you should be able to get at least enough reception to make a call. This is why sat phones are popular among adventurers, militaries, and sea-farers.

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who are prepared for the end of the civilized world as we know it. A sat phone provides a means of communication that will work even if the world’s cell networks go down—only an immensely catastrophic global disaster of a monumental scale would take down the satellite networks as well as land-based cell networks.

And finally, if you’re concerned about your communications being eavesdropped upon, a satellite phone is a good way to make sure that your phone is secure. There are plenty of ways that the government can listen in on your cell phone, but a sat phone is much more difficult. So much so that they’re highly regulated in some countries, and outright illegal in a few others.

How Do They Work?

A sat phone, as you may gather from the name, routes calls via satellites instead of land-based cell towers. There are a number of satellite networks that are used to make calls, but they generally fall into two camps: geosynchronous and low-Earth orbit. Geosynchronous satellites stay above a single point on the Earth, though they orbit up to 20,000 miles away from the surface of the planet. These huge, powerful satellites can provide service for a large area — ACeS provides service for all of southeast Asia with a single satellite. These networks can have a noticeable transmission delay because of the distance of the satellites, and often cover an area that is more limited in latitude than low-Earth orbit networks.

Low-Earth orbit satellites are not geosynchronous — their orbit takes them over different parts of the Earth — and they fly lower, usually between 400 and 700 miles from the ground. They orbit quickly, taking between 1 and 1.5 hours to circle the globe. Because these networks have more satellites (Iridium has 66) and can arrange for them to make passes over different parts of the globe, they usually provide more solid coverage through the extreme northern and southern parts of the world.
Low-Earth orbit satellites are not geosynchronous — their orbit takes them over different parts of the Earth — and they fly lower, usually between 400 and 700 miles from the ground. They orbit quickly, taking between 1 and 1.5 hours to circle the globe. Because these networks have more satellites (Iridium has 66) and can arrange for them to make passes over different parts of the globe, they usually provide more solid coverage through the extreme northern and southern parts of the world.
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Because low-Earth orbit networks require less power to access, satellite phones that connect to these networks are smaller — generally only slightly larger than a standard cell phone. Phones that connect to geosynchronous satellites need more power, and can be larger in size, more comparable to a laptop.

When you make a call, it’s transmitted from your phone to the nearest satellite (you often need line-of-sight connections with the satellites, which is why sat phones work best from outdoors), then beamed through your provider’s satellite constellation and back down to the person you’re trying to call. If you’re calling a non-satellite phone, the call is routed through an Earth station that patches it into the local telephone network.
How Much Do Satellite Phones Cost?

As with cell phones, you can find sat phones for a wide range of prices, but most models run between $400 and $1000. (there are a few models that are outside this range on both ends, but not many). The InmarSat IsatPhone Pro, a solid model from a respected and reliable network, will cost you $600. The Iridium 9555, a phone from another heavyweight of the industry, is $1000. The latest and greatest from Iridium, the Extreme 9575, is a bit more expensive at $1240.
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All three of these phones look a lot like older models of standard cell phones — they’re compact and don’t have huge antennas like some other options.

In addition to the handset, you’ll have to buy some minutes. While you can buy a service plan or postpaid minutes, it’s definitely most cost-efficient to buy minutes up front. But it’s still going to be expensive. The effective rate of a 500-minute Iridium plan is about $1.45 per minute. And because it’s only valid for a year, you’ll be out $725 if you never need to use your sat phone. Thuraya, on the other hand, sells units, and has varying rates for different calls. For example, if you’re calling another Thuraya phone, you’ll pay one unit per minute. Most countries in the world are 1.5 units per minute. Calls to other satellite phone providers are 8 units per minute. A unit costs a little over a dollar.

You’ll find that with most providers, calling another provider is quite expensive. Receiving calls can be very costly as well, especially if it originates from a landline; fortunately Iridium won’t charge you for receiving incoming calls on your satellite phone. Using an internet connection can be extremely expensive, though sending texts is usually fairly affordable. Using a sat phone costs a lot of money. But if you don’t have any other way to get in contact with someone, it might be worth it.
Where to Buy a Satellite Phone

Buying a satellite phone isn’t nearly as hard as it once was—many camping and adventuring stores now stock a model or two. Amazon sells a wide range of satellite phones, and there are a few specialty websites, like BlueCosmo and SatPhoneStore.com, that sell a variety of phones and plans. If you’re serious about buying a phone, checking out one of these websites is a good way to get started; you’ll find useful information as well as details on the pricing of different companies’ plans.

If you’re headed out on an adventure where you’ll be far out of range of cell towers, or you just want to be prepared for the worst, a satellite phone will help make sure that you can stay in contact with the outside world. They’re expensive, and they don’t provide the best quality communication, but in an emergency or a disaster, having one could be a lifesaver.

Do you have a satellite phone? What do you use it for? Do you have any other buying tips? Share your thoughts below!

Courtesy: http://www.makeuseof.com

Growth of Mobile Demands Business

December 14th, 2013 by

Do you know someone with a smartphone?  Or maybe a better question is, “Can you name 5 adults without a smart phone?”

Chances are quite high that either you have one or that you immediately can name a few people that do.

Mobile statistics show that smartphone use in the United States continues to grow rapidly.  Up over 12% from last year, at just the midway point of 2013 smartphone penetration is now over 56% in the United States.  Combine that statistic with a recent report from Facebook, who reported that over 71% of the activity on Facebook is via mobile devices, and it is clear that smart businesses are going to consider mobile significantly in their digital marketing strategies.

In this post, I’ll outline key considerations for businesses related to mobile marketing and sales.

To be mobile or not…This is NOT the right question.  That day has passed.  You need to determine what type of mobile access you want for your web and you need to use a Facebook App service that makes tabs accessible for mobile users.

Mobile Site or Responsive Website

The question now is what type of mobile solutions your business needs to have.  One key is your website and there are two primary mobile options.  Businesses can have either a mobile specific website, so that if a visitor coming to the site is on a mobile device, the website detects this and switches to a mobile version of the site.  The other option is a responsive website.  A responsive website is one that “responds” and changes its structure to optimally fit the viewing screen for the type of device it detects the visitor is using. Images can shrink and structure of paragraphs and other text all can be rearranged so that the same web page displays the same content, but in a different and best format for the size of the screen the viewer is using.  A responsive site also gives tablet users a better user experience.

08-25-2013-rise-of-mobileWhy is this important? It’s important because mobile users are increasingly doing more research on products and businesses via their mobile device prior to ever setting foot in the store, or before they would pick-up the phone to call. If a mobile information seeker doesn’t easily and quickly get the information they want, they’ll move on. This means they’ll go elsewhere and likely not return. That visitor and potential customer is then lost. If over 50% of your visitors are potentially going to access your site via a mobile device, wouldn’t it seem critical to ensure your business is mobile friendly online?

 

Facebook for Mobile

Facebook is a publicly traded company.  As such, they have to disclose quarterly earnings and reports on their business model and business growth.  Facebook recently announced outstanding Quarter 2 earnings and their revealed strategy to continue their growth was focused on mobile ads, tools, and features.  They even called themselves a mobile company.

However, one area Facebook has still not conquered is enabling mobile access to Facebook Page tabs.  With over 71% of Facebook users using mobile devices to access Facebook, and businesses wanting to connect  with all those users spending vast amounts of time on Facebook, enabling mobile users to access Facebook page tabs where they can offer coupons, purchasing, and other valuable sales-related features is critical.  Since Facebook doesn’t allow this natively, using a solution that integrates this like TabSite is important for businesses to consider.

Users on Facebook want to stay on Facebook, so a business can post news and offers to the News Feed and then link to a mobile friendly Facebook tab.  Software like TabSite does the work for businesses on Facebook of detecting the type of device the visitor is using and then directing them to a mobile friendly tab if the user is on a mobile.

Due to the growth of mobile that simply continues to expand, the mobile user experience on a company website and Facebook page are two important considerations for businesses.  To leave out mobile users access and quality experience in these two areas is to leave potential sales “on the table”.  Mobile is not just for “early adopter” companies, it’s a need for all businesses today.

 

 

 

*Source:mikegingerich.com

Everything you need to know about Itching

July 25th, 2013 by

 

Itching refers to an unpleasant sensation that causes the need to scratch –- the medical term for itching is pruritus. Itching may be confined to a certain area of the body (localized), or can be all over the body (generalized). Itching may be associated with a rash, which may either be the cause of the itch or the result of the scratching. For some people, there may be no visible rash associated with their itching. Regardless of the presence or absence of a rash, itching can be debilitating, especially at night when a person is trying to sleep.

Itching and pain are closely-related sensations, since the same nerves transmit both signals to the brain. When the area of skin is scratched, that same area may become even itchier, leading to more scratching. This is called the itch-scratch cycle. In general, itching can be related to a problem with the skin or another underlying disease of the body (systemic disease). When itching is localized to a particular area of skin, a systemic disease usually does not cause it.

What causes Itching?

The causes of itching can be divided into localized and generalized. Areas of itching that are localized on one part of the body are more likely caused by a problem of the skin. The area of the body that itches may give a clue as to the cause of the itch. For example, itching of the scalp is most likely due to seborrheic dermatitis (dandruff), atopic dermatitis, contact dermatitis, psoriasis, or head lice.

Generalized itching may be due to various skin diseases, as well as systemic disease. Skin diseases that cause itching all over the body include hives, atopic dermatitis and contact dermatitis. Itching may also be caused by medications (such as narcotics and other pain medications), infections (such as parasitic infections of the intestines), iron deficiency, liver disease, kidney disease, high or low thyroid function, as well as certain cancers.

As soon as we feel an itch, our first natural response is to scratch the spot of the itch with our fingernails. The reason for this response is simple — we want to remove the irritant as soon as possible. Once you’ve scratched the area of irritation, you are likely to feel some relief. When your brain realizes that you’ve scratched away the irritant, the signal being sent to your brain that you have an itch is interrupted and therefore no longer recognized by the brain.

Even if you don’t remove the irritant, scratching will at least cause pain and divert your attention away from the itching. The irritant that caused the itching is very small, maybe only a few microns in length, so it disturbs only a few nerve endings. When you use your fingernail to scratch the spot where the irritant is, you not only remove the irritant but you irritate a lot more nerve endings than the irritant.

Cover up your webcam when not in use!!

July 12th, 2013 by

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Childnet International, a non-profit working to keep kids safe on the Internet, has issued a stern warning to computer owners today: Hackers can take over webcams without your knowledge, so keep them covered up when not in use.

Once your computer is infected by a Trojan virus – often acquired by visiting the wrong website or by opening malicious email attachments – criminals can control your webcam without your knowledge. These types of hackings are rapidly becoming big business: The BBC has uncovered an entire industry centering on the buying and selling of access to compromised webcams, especially those owned by women.

Ultimately, your best protection against such a hacking is to make sure your computer is running up to date anti-virus software. But there are other computer safety precautions you can take as well. “Pointing your webcam at a wall or covering it up can be good practice,” explains Childnet Chief Executive Will Gardner. He also recommends shutting laptop lids when they’re not in use, as cameras are often found immediately above laptop screens.

Independent computer security experts are urging people not to panic over the report, but otherwise confirm that there’s no harm in a little bit of added security to protect your privacy. “The idea of sticking a piece of paper over your webcam is reasonably common among the more paranoid members of the hacker community,” said Josh White, a researcher at the Oxford Internet Institute, to the BBC. “But it’s not necessarily paranoid. It’s useful to be aware.”

Read more: http://www.techlicious.com/blog/warning-cover-up-your-webcam-when-not-in-use/#ixzz2YpNR2SqC

Tactile Paving For Visually Impaired

June 25th, 2013 by

If you have traveled in Delhi Metro, you must have noticed a yellow pavement with raised oblong lines (see the image below) at the Metro station. The last time when I was at the Metro Station, I heard an announcement asking people to stay away from the central yellow line. That made me wonder if there is more to it than meets the eye. I did some research on the net and what I found is quite interesting!tactile Pavements

This yellow pavement is called Tactile Paving or Guiding Tiles and are used at stations, airports, sidewalks etc. to guide or warn the visually impaired pedestrians. The one that you see in the picture above serves as a pathway for the blind and disabled people. They are located midway on the platform, and lead directly to the lift, and then to the exit.

There are two types of patterns used in these blocks- the oblong raised pattern indicate places, and in what direction, it is safe to walk confidently. The “warning” blocks with the round raised dots indicate edges, corners or other places where greater care or caution is required. So, these tactile cues help everyone stay clear of train platform edges, crosswalk drop offs, and other related hazards .

 

Tactile pavements

The original tactile paving was developed by Seiichi Miyake in 1965. The paving was first introduced in a street in Okayama city, Japan, in 1967. Its use gradually spread in Japan and then around the world and has now become a standard. The color is chosen in a way that it contrasts visually with adjacent walking surfaces, either light-on-dark, or dark-on-light.

Here is an example from the internet which shows both the “safe” and the “warning” tactile paving together.

tactile pavements

So, next time when you see a tactile paving, stay away from it so that visually impaired people can use it.

**Source : Knowledge Hub