from Perspectives from a Blind Point of View blog http://www.blindgal.com/
Imagine if you could only read one line at a time. If you use a braille display this is currently your only option. Having access to only one line at a time makes browsing the web and using other applications challenging for the blind. The other problem with braille displays is their cost. They can range from $1,000 to over $10,000, which makes them out of the reach of most blind users. With these things in mind, researches at the University of North Carolina are in the process of making a full page braille display.
The display they are working on uses different technology than is currently being used, which will hopefully allow them to make the display more efficient and far less costly. This Scientific AMerican
article does a great job of explaining how the technology their using works. Currently, braille displays cost about $35 per cell to make. If displays are to be affordable, one of the researchers estimates that cells would need to cost $5 or less.
If this new technology works, saving money will not be the only benefit to braille users. A full page display would make scanning text easier . It also would allow tactile graphics to be created instantly. Finally, a full page display would make doing math and science much more accessible. Formulas and graphs often take up more than one line, and the only way for a blind person to see more than one line is by using a braille embosser, another device that is extremely expensive.
The researchers are at the beginning stages of their research, but it may be that in the next 10 years, braille can regain popularity simply through the use of a device that makes braille usable in multiple applications.