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‘BrailleTouch’ – You don’t have to see to believe

The visually impaired no longer have to be left in the dark when it comes to texting. Texting has become interwoven into our society to communicate information rapidly whether it’s for business or pleasure. According to a study featured on mobiThinking, it was estimated that SMS traffic was expected to reach 8 trillion in 2011. In comparison, there were 6.9 trillion SMS sent in 2010. This trend is expected to increase and shows no signs of slowing down. Up to this point, the visually impaired have largely been left out of the SMS revolution, that is, until now.

A team from Georgia Tech has recently designed a new app for touchscreen mobile devices known as, “BrailTouch”.

Photo: Georgia Tech

The app is a prototype but demonstrates an incredible leap forward in assisting the visually impaired and inviting them into the SMS party. The app rotates conveniently with the phone so it doesn’t matter how you hold the phone in order to properly use it. The team, led by Post Doctorate Fellow Mario Romero touted the simplicity of the new app.

“Users can pick it up without any training, start typing faster than most people type on a QWERTY keyboard,” said, Romero.

Users of the app reach up to 32 words per minute, not bad considering the average keyboard typing speed ranges from 30-40 words per minute. Even more incredible the users had a 92% accuracy rate with the new app. This is a promising new beginning for the visually impaired to use this significant medium of communication.

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