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Braille Touch app brings "no-look" typing to handsets

Posted: , by Alan F.

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Braille Touch app brings
Have you ever needed to send a text message without anyone around you knowing? Typing without looking at the keyboard can be awfully hard to do. Georgia Tech researches might have a solution with an open-source app that is still in prototype mode. Braille Touch uses the Braille system that those with vision problems have relied on for ages, as a way for millions of smartphone users to type out words without seeing the keyboard.

Georgia Tech says that its researchers have designed Braille Touch to replace virtual QWERTY keyboards without tactile feedback, and physical QWERTY keyboards with keys that are too small to produce accurate results. Additionally, the school says that Braille Touch is the only app for the Apple iPhone that replicates the 6-finger chording process used on traditional Braille QWERTY keyboards. Mario Romero, the project’s principal investigator and a Postdoctoral Fellow in the School of Interactive Computing says, "BrailleTouch is an out-of-the-box solution that will work with smartphones and tablets and allow users to start learning the Braille alphabet in a few minutes. It also reduces the need for expensive proprietary Braille keyboard devices, which typically cost thousands of dollars."

Testing of Braille Touch, according to Caleb Southern, an IC graduate student, is being done using qualitative and quantitative methods. Southern says, "We will measure the typing speed and accuracy of visually impaired users and capture the feedback from study participants in areas such as comfort, ease of use and perceived value." Braille Touch requires only 6 keys while the user keeps his hand in a fixed position, cradling the phone with palms or pinkies and thumbs and using the majority of his fingers to type. It is the same style used by the visually impaired typing on a Braille keyboard.

You can check out the video below to see Braille Touch in action.

source: GeorgiaTech via Textually.org

4 Comments
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posted on 18 Feb 2012, 14:53

1. GJanee (Posts: 204; Member since: 29 Jun 2011)


now this is what i call awesome!

posted on 19 Feb 2012, 03:01

2. darac (Posts: 2156; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)


fantastic

posted on 19 Feb 2012, 08:05 1

3. bayusuputra (Posts: 941; Member since: 12 Feb 2012)


smartphone accessibility for the disabled..

faith in humanity restored..

posted on 23 Feb 2012, 11:51

4. pmcarlos1 (Posts: 1; Member since: 23 Feb 2012)


This is almost exactly the same idea that was presented 12 years ago before the age of touchscreens. The 6 keys on the back of the device were physical and could handle both Braille and Alphabetical layouts. The GKOS concept reappeared as an application for smartphones recently ( gkos.com ).

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