Could Braille Touch app revolutionize texting?


Coverage Type: reporting
Location:
Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA, 30332, United States

Braille Touch is a new app that enables people to type messages on an Android or iOS touch screen without having to look down. The app is designed for people who are visually impaired, but that doesn't mean the rest of us can't use it too.

"We have become slaves to keyboards that are too small and that have too many buttons," said Mario Romero, a post-doctoral fellow at Georgia Tech's School for Interactive Computing and the lead researcher on a paper about Braille Touch. "Almost everyone has to look at the keyboard when they send a text message. We lose sight every time we text. And I don't think that's right." Braille Touch would change that. It is based on Computer Braille, a system of typing that allows users to input up to 63 characters through pressing different combinations of just six buttons -- three on each side of the phone. Users of this new typing system hold the phone facing away from the body, using the middle three fingers of each hand to chord in letters, numbers and characters such as exclamation points and the "at" sign. Spaces and backspaces can be entered through gestures of flicking left or right on the phone.

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