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App Design Allows Visually Impaired to Type and Text

Although voice assistants like Siri have certainly made it easier for the visually impaired to navigate the iPhone, it seems that new software out of Georgia Tech College of Computing looks to take accessibility to the next level. BrailleTouch is a prototype application that uses traditional Braille input on the iPhone’s touchscreen, allowing people to type up to 32 words per minute with up to 92 percent accuracy.

So how does Braille work on an iPhone? The screen is held facing away from the user and six large dots appear on the screen in landscape mode, these can auto-rotate so it doesn’t really matter how the device is held. Using the traditional Braille method, users tap the correct dots to form letters and words. The software can speak aloud the letters you type, helping to further ensure proper spelling and input.

This is an interesting concept and if it proves to work out efficiently, it could certainly change the way visually impaired users navigate tablets, phones, and potentially even touchscreen computers.

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One comment

  1. 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.

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