Picture books for visually impaired kids go 3D thanks to CU-Boulder research team

A children’s classic that already is a candidate for the all-time best feel-good book, “Goodnight Moon,” has gotten a boost: A University of Colorado Boulder team printed the first 3D version of it, allowing visually impaired children and their families to touch objects in the story — like the cow jumping over the moon — as it is read aloud.

The story by Margaret Wise Brown of a bunny in bed wishing good night to his surroundings, “Goodnight Moon” was a logical first choice for CU-Boulder’s Tactile Picture Books Project — there are more than 40 million copies in print and it has been translated into at least a dozen languages. CU-Boulder computer science Assistant Professor Tom Yeh and his team now are using the same techniques to print several other highly popular children’s books in 3D, including “Harold and the Purple Crayon” and “The Very Hungry Caterpillar.”

“When my son was born three years ago we got five copies of ‘Goodnight Moon’ as gifts, an indication of how popular it is among small children and adults,” said Yeh. “It seemed to me to be the ideal book that would lend itself to our new research effort.”

The idea of tactile picture books is not new, said Yeh. “What is new is making 3D printing more accessible and interactive so parents and teachers of visually impaired children can customize and print these kinds of picture books in 3D,” he said. Yeh gave a presentation on the subject at the annual Association for Computing Machinery’s CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems held in May in Toronto. … (Read more)

Source: Colorado.edu