High tech for and with sensitive fingers

Braille innovations for blind and visually impaired people.

As one of the leading companies for customized Braille lines, Braille cells and graphic displays we worldwide enrich the working and social life of blind and visually impaired persons.

In our office in Stuttgart a staff of about 30 persons develop, design and assemble innovative solutions: High tech for and with sensitive fingers.

Thanks to our longtime complex know-how in engineering and soft- and hardware development, we offer our customers space saving high end Braille lines. Each product convinces by fail-safe working and long endurance – and thus by its excellent price-performance ratio.

Exact, reliable and space saving

Each product, that leaves our facilities, passed an endurance test:

The output devices are tested for three days before we ship them. Thus we make sure that our customers benefit from the typical metec quality that is worldwide demanded.

Our individual Braille lines, Braille cells and graphic displays are well known for their longtime performance and high tactile forces. The reading adventure that our customers appreciate is exact, convenient and reliable: Every single dot functions for years without any failure.

This is the result of our longtime know-how, and also of the choice of material: components where quality matters are purchased only in the Euro area, components for special requirements only in Germany. Exquisite materials, which are assembled as space and weight saving as possible. For an optimum in comfort and functioning.

see Video1
Tactile graphics production in project Tangram

see Video2
VR-Innovation Award 2012

  • 100% Quality
  • Burn-in tests
  • High end components
  • Know-how

 

100% Quality

We attach great importance on high quality, customer satisfaction and the longtime endurance of our products.

 

Burn-in tests

All devices and cells get a 100% quality check. Each Braille dot, for example, runs through a "burn-in test" with about 100.000 actuations. Only if the result is positive the Braille cell is shipped to our customers.

 

High end components

The Braille cells and braille lines are completely assembled in our facilities in Stuttgart. Components, where quality matters, are purchased only in the European area, components for special requirements only in Germany.

 

Know-how

All constructions and developments are exclusively made in our facilities. Thus we offer you our 40 years of know how.

The board of directors informs

Business report , PDF

2014

Business report , PDF

2015

Business report , PDF

2016

The regular share holders’ meeting for the business year 2017 will take place on 26.07.2017 at 2 p.m. in
"TREFFPUNKT Rotebühlplatz", Rotebühlplatz 28, 70173 Stuttgart, Germany. Room C204.

metec AG

managing director
supervisory board

Company history

Company establishment

metec Ingenieur GmbH was founded to produce and develop further the first small electromagnetic Braille cell, which had been invented at the Institute of Design and Production in Precision Engineering of Stuttgart University.

1974

1975

Pocket calculator

metec already sold the first pocket calculators with a Braille display. This was the start of the "electronic age" for the Blind.

Braille lines

The market was slowly growing, so the second generation of electromagnetic Braille cells, which were considerably smaller and cheaper, was developed. These cells were assembled into the first electronic Braille lines, which served as screen for the Blind thus enabling them to get access to computers

1982

1987

Piezo actuators

A new technology to drive the Braille cells was introduced. It was based on piezo actuators.

metec AG

metec GmbH was transformed into metec AG, a share holding company, thus creating the financial possibilities for growth oriented activities.

1998

2014

40 years of metec

metec celebrates its 40th anniversary.

Leading manufacturer

metec AG, as a leading manufacturer of Braille lines and other products in the field of Braille and rehab technology, has 27 employees. Metec AG supplies customers throughout the world.

Today

From Braille script to Braille line

In 1825 Louis Braille, a Frenchman, invented the Braille script with 6 dot letters. Step by step printing Braille books was developed for the Blind. Braille typewriters were built, and in 1975 metec delivered the first pocket calculator with Braille output. Today Braille displays show the content of a computer screen line by line in Braille characters thus enabling blind people to read and edit word documents or surf in the world wide web.

Use and functioning of the Braille line

The Braille line is an output device for computers. It shows the signs of the screen in tactile, electronically refreshable Braille characters. Thus blind persons can work with a computer independently.

Each single dot of a character is raised or deleted by electronic activation of a piezo actuator. Modern Braille lines have 8 dot characters, thus allowing 256 signs (ASCII or UNI-Code character set) without limitations.

The Braille line and the computer are mainly connected via a USB port, sometimes via Bluetooth or WLAN.

In most cases the lines are driven through a "Screenreader Software", which translates the screen content and also supports by speech output. A Braille line has between 12 and 80 cells. This is the reason why only a small part is shown - maximum 80 signs of a screen line. With the help of routing keys the shown part can be scrolled up, down, right or left.

Modern Braille lines have the so called cursor-routing. Above each Braille element there is a small button. When pressing it, the cursor on the screen is moved to the corresponding position. This makes especially sense if the text read shall be corrected on the spot.

Since the production of Braille lines is technically very complex and they are produced only in small quantities, the production costs are accordingly high. The long life expectancy and high utility value of metec Braille lines, however, justify the purchase.

Louis Braille, inventor of the Braille script

Louis Braille was born on January 4, 1808, in Coupvray, France. At the age of three he injured his eyes and lost eyesight. From now on he visited the School for the Blind in Paris. Most lessons were in spoken form. There were books with raised printing, but they were not manageable and space consuming , so they were hardly used.

Louis loved music. Therefore he developed at first a system for musical notation and later, between the age of 14 and 16, the dot-script-system with 6 dots. As a grownup Louis worked as a teacher at the School for the Blind in Paris and fought for the use of his Braille script. The Educational Academy of France acknowledged it in 1850.

Two days before this 43th birthday Louis Braille died on a lung disease from which he suffered since the age of 20 and which got slowly worth since. 1853 his friends and pupils set a monument at the School for the Blind in Paris.