SACRAMENTO, Calif., March 18, 2019 — If you have used Google today, (March 18th, 2019) you will have noticed that today’s Google Doodle features that yellow tactile surface you see at transit stations, crosswalks, street corners, and more. This tactile surface is called Tactile Paving, and was pioneered by Japanese inventor Seiichi Miyake; today Armor-Tile and Google join together to honor him.
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In 1965 Japanese inventor Seiichi Miyake made history to help a close friend, inventing what we now call tactile paving tiles. These tactile blocks, or “Tenji” as Seiichi Miyake called them, were a series of dots and bars designed to help his visually impaired friend. The wayfinding bars serve to guide visually impaired persons through a space, and the truncated dome installations warn them when they approach an unsafe edge. Miyake first installed these Detectable Warning Tiles in Okayama City, Japan on this day in 1967, on a crosswalk near Okayama School for the Blind. In a very short time, Miyake’s invention spread, before they were made mandatory by the Japanese National Railways a decade later.
Today Miyake’s Truncated Dome Tiles are a mandatory safety staple all around the world, allowing visually impaired persons to live and navigate completely independently. As such, Armor-Tile would like to take a moment to acknowledge and thank pioneer Seiichi Miyake. Without the innovations of Seiichi Miyake, and his desire to help his friend, all current efforts to assist the visually impaired persons globally would not be possible. They would also like to take a moment to acknowledge and thank Armor-Tile President and Founder Ken Szekely. Mr. Szekely leads the standardization and advancement of Tactile Paving globally, through the industry leading success of Armor-Tile, Access Tile, and Advantage Tactile.
For over 25 years Armor-Tile has sought to make America safe, and has been at the forefront of leading research insights and progressive product development for Truncated Dome Tiles. Armor-Tile was featured at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disability Act. Armor-Tile has been able to continuously build upon the work of inventor Seiichi Miyake thanks to Ken Szekely and their talented team. In the last 25 years, the Armor-Tile family of companies has led innovation and advancement with new technology, creating safe and accessible public rights of way.
Armor-Tile has been the industry standard in North America since 1989 preceding the Americans with Disability Act. Armor-Tile employs a diamond-hard vitrified polymer composite material that is weather, moisture, UV, chemical, and wear resistant.
In order to make public rights of way more universally accessible, Access Tile has developed a uniquely durable, yet affordable Tactile Tile. Access Tile is rigorously tested and has become the benchmark for strength and durability globally. As a result, government agencies around the world rely on Access Tile to provide a safe, durable and affordable tactile walking surface indicator.
Advantage Tactile has taken the work of Seiichi Miyake one step further by accounting for northern climates, creating a fully cast-iron Truncated Dome Tile. This cast-iron Tactile tile was designed to withstand use of snow plows and other heavy equipment. Further developments with Advantage Tile allow for easy replacement.
The ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act), was passed in 1990. The purpose of the law is to make sure that people with disabilities have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else. The accessibility requirement as mandated by the ADA, was made possible by the early designs of Seiichi Miyake, and is currently supported throughout the world by Armor-Tile, Access Tile and Advantage Tactile. This is why today the world celebrates not only an incredible man, but also the legacy created by a single act of friendship. Today the world celebrates Seiichi Miyake and universal accessibility.
About Armor-Tile: Armor-Tile has been at the forefront of accessibility development, research and manufacturing of tactile paving tiles for over 25 years. Armor-Tile products are manufactured in the USA and are used by government agencies around the globe.