Texting for the Blind

February 21st, 2012 by Kel Smith | Filed under Blind, Innovation, Mobile Apps

Touchscreen device for blind users

Researchers at Georgia Tech have produced a new technology to help blind people text using touchscreen mobile devices. It will be available on Apple iOS and Android devices and is based on the Braille writing system, claiming a typing speed of up to six times faster than existing methods.

The app is considered to be an improvement over Apple’s VoiceOver technology, which is functionally adequate but often too slow for effective, regular use. Mario Romero, lead researcher on the project, explains as follows:

“Users who know how to type Braille well never move their hands. When users hold the phone they hold the phone with the screen facing away from them in landscape mode. When users hold the phone they hold the phone with the screen facing away from them in landscape mode. They wrap the index, middle and ring finger in each hand around the phone.It’s not like the Qwerty keyboard where you move up and down. That’s why this thing works – we can get away with only six keys.”

There is thought that such technology could also be applied to everyday devices, such as automated tellers and office copier machines, where touchscreens are widely becoming the norm.

tag_iconTags: | | | | | | |

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Comments are closed.