Here's a great example of designing something for an impaired population, and making an improvement that benefits all. Mastercard has redesigned their debit, credit and pre-paid cards with different physical notches in them—round, trapezoidal and checkmark-shaped—so that the visually impaired can distinguish them by touch.
The additional benefit, of course, is that everyone will be able to use the off-center notches to accurately orient the cards, by touch, when inserting them into a machine.
I'd like to see a little more differentiation between the shapes, but I guess there's only so far they can take it with the material.
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Cards could be much smaller. Most time I use my card, the only working parts are the chip and contacts, or else the NFC wireless transponder. Now, if a card were even just half the width, it could be stored about one's person more easily - it could fit within a pouch in a belt, for example. Make the card just the width of the chip contacts and it could fit within a watch strap or bracelet.
differentiating between types of cards is useful but didn't the raised numbers give a clue to the orientation already? I can find the front/right of my card by touch no problemo.....