who we are

NewHaptics is an innovative tactile display technology company founded with the goal of improving the lives of people who are blind by enabling true digital interaction using the sense of touch. The company has its roots in the "Holy Braille Project" conducted at the University of Michigan and funded by the  National Science Foundation that focused on researching and developing novel technology to enable a full-page tactile display. Since spinning off from the University of Michigan in 2018, NewHaptics has since raised funding from federal and state grants to commercialize novel tactile display technology. 

what we do

Our patented tactile display technology enables the creation of a compact, portable, and large-area tactile “screen.” Unlike the state-of-the-art technology for existing refreshable braille displays, our technology can scale up to support a large-area display with a grid of thousands of small tightly-packed tactile dots. Like pixels on a computer screen, the dots can be selectively raised and lowered to render multiple lines of braille and tactile graphics in real time on the surface of the device.

Our novel technical approach solves major hurdles related to size and cost that have prevented the scaling up of existing technology to support a multiline braille display device. Tactile display components are batch manufactured in a process similar to how computer chips are made; thousands of tiny tactile dots are fabricated together in a single component. A small set of components, rather than thousands of individual parts, support enough dots for a large-area tactile screen in a low-profile form factor.

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the team

A headshot of Alex Russomanno
Alex Russomanno
Alex has a background in mechanical engineering and brings a unique combination of experience in haptic device design, testing, and fabrication. He has spent the last 5 years as CEO of NewHaptics leading the team in the pursuit of the Holy Braille.
A headshot of Sile O'Modhrain
Sile O'Modhrain
Sile is currently an Associate Professor of Information Science at University of Michigan with over 25 years of experience in designing and prototyping haptic and tactile interfaces. She is one of a very small number of blind researchers with deep experience in this field as a researcher and as an end-user of many of the electronic braille displays currently on the market.
A headshot of Brent Gillespie
Brent Gillespie
Brent is currently a Professor of Mechanical Engineering at University of Michigan with nearly 30 years of experience as a researcher in the field of haptics, designing and developing tactile displays for a range of applications including telerobotics, automotive, and medical devices and accessible interfaces for blind computer users.
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