BrailleTouch App In Smartphone For The Visually Impaired


Some good news for the visually-impaired who want to send text messages.

Georgia Institute of Technology researchers have been successful at developing a mobile app that allows these users to text using Braille. This seems a tough call given that smartphones today lack the tactile surface required for reading Braille. But the BrailleTouch, as the app is called, finds a way around this issue.

BrailleTouch offers users three buttons on the left and right side of the screen regardless of the orientation of the device. Such buttons correspond to the dots used by the Braille system to represent letters.

The app reads out the text, one letter at a time, as the user keys in the message.

During its testing period, the app proved successful, granting users the capability to type as many as 32 words per minute, with an accuracy rate of 92 percent.

For those blessed with vision, this invention also opens the possibily of eyes-free input, which is a functionality that developers hope to tap for future devices. There is, however, potential for abuse, as such functionality may encourage those who are driving to text and drive at the same time.

Nonetheless, for the visually-impaired, the BrailleTouch app is truly a welcome invention.

Via SlashGear


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  • zijohn

    It is about time that someone starts to address the problem of the Achilles heel of the iPhone, and probably many Android phones as well. Their lacking of a physical keyboard really is fatally flawed when comes to texting. You will have to look at the tiny keys to type, instead of looking on the screen of what you are writing. Even with the utmost of care you can still make many mistakes by hitting the wrong key on an iPhone. Another app tries to help iPhone users lookup contacts, called PhoneBook Plus, uses a bigger numerical keypad, but it is only limited to searching names, numbers and groups, not for texting. But still, it is easy to see a big difference PhoneBook already made. Siri may be a partial solution, but would be very interesting to see whether there can be a new revolution way of typing on a touch screen.