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A boon for the blind – The iPhone Braillewriter

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An iPhone might just be what some people need – the ones not as empowered as us. It seems finally some tech has been put up in a domain where its severely needed. Georgia Tech has created an app that will give the blind an option to enjoy the joys of texting the way average people do. This app will also be useful for those who like to multi-task while using their iPhone. Interested? Read on.

BrailleTouch1

Mario Romero, a Post Doctoral fellow at the school of interactive computing, Georgia Tech says, “Research has shown that chorded, or gesture-based, texting is a viable solution for eyes-free written communication in the future, making obsolete the need for users to look at their devices while inputting text on them.”


The app, currently a prototype is called BrailleTouch. It is built to let you do stuff without looking at your iPhone’s screen. It lets you text using the Braille technology. How this works is that instead of the regular QWERTY keyboard, there are only six keys on the home screen, which are governed by Braille writing system and give an audio response after each letter.

Currently, the only option the visually impaired have is out-of-the-world expensive Braille keyboards.

 The app is currently under development but will soon be available free and open-source. “We are currently designing a study to formally evaluate BrailleTouch through both quantitative and qualitative methods 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”, Caleb Southern a student with the project was quoted as saying.

Our country has a sizeable visually impaired population. For their sake, we wish this app pours on to cheaper smartphones soon.
 

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