Rubik's Cube for the Blind
Recently I stumbled upon a concept of Rubik’s cube for the blind that utilizes Braille system to emboss the colors of the cube on its tiles (see the “Color Rubik Cube for the Blind” post on Yanko Design). The cube was designed by Konstantin Datz. Embossed colors include green, blue, red, yellow, white and pink.
This cube looks pretty stylish to the sighted people, but the lack of colors will probably make it harder to solve visually. Blind people though are more used to Braille and it will be easier to read the cube tiles for them.
This discovery inspired me to make a small research to see what else is out there for the blind people in Rubik’s cube world and here are some puzzles that I found.
Accessible Cube (in some places I’ve seen it called the Doom Cube) by Brian Doom
Brian has significantly altered the surface of the tiles by attaching wooden, rubber, plastic, textile shapes and even metal screwes to them. He, however, kept the colors so that the cube will still keep some usability to sighted people or those visually-impaired who haven’t lost eyesight completely.
Here's another view of this cube:
Cube for the Blind by Zhiliang Chen
A similar idea was utilized by Zhiliang Chen in his Cube for the Blind – he used six different materials (metal, wood, textile, rubber, plastic and stone) on the tiles. His cube was also featured on Yanko Design.
Blind Man’s Metal Cube
A user named gtig has published a DIY guide for making the “Blind Man’s Metal Cube” shown below. He used metal tabs of different design and glued them to the cube tiles.
Rubik’s Cube for Blind People with Acrylic shapes
Another tactile cube was made using laser cut acrylic shapes by someone named Danny (see “I made a Rubik's Cube for blind people”).
Blind Man’s Pyraminx
Here is another puzzle, not exactly a Rubik’s cube. It’s called Pyraminx and it was made by Uwe Meffert from Hong Kong. Pyramics uses four differently feeling stickers sets: smooth blue, rough green, woolen red and grooved silver.
Some people mention that they were able to improve their speedcubing or blindcubing skills by using tactile Rubik’s cubes. I couldn’t find a tactile Rubik’s cube for sale - the ones that I found were either concepts or self-made. If anyone knows where to buy Rubik’s cubes for blind people, please share in comments. Also, it would be interesting to know about other similar puzzles for visually challenged people.