Georgia Tech claim that typing with the app is up to six times quicker than other methods for texting without sight.
Technology for the visually-impaired is a growing issue due to rapid increase in the use of smartphones and touchscreens. Experts say the tools and apps currently available including Apple’s Voiceover technology, are functional but too slow to effective.
The development team behind the app hope to release in the next few weeks Brailletouch. The app is controlled with six fingers and, crucially, does not require hand movement. A video of BrailleTouch in action is available at the following link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rIEO1bUFHsI
Mario Romero, lead researcher for the app said “Users who know how to type Braille well never move their hands”
“When users hold the smartphone they hold the device with the screen facing away from them in landscape mode. It’s not like the standard Qwerty keyboard where you move up and down. That’s why this app works – we can get away with only six keys. It took me and my colleagues a few hours to memorise things so we could start typing at around 10 words per minute. It’s not something that takes years.
Brailletouch will be an open source app and free say Georgia Tech.