In this podcast, Robert and Allison speak with Caleb Southern. Caleb is a doctoral student studying computer science at Georgia Tech University in Atlanta.
While researching sight free options for entering data on touch screens and mobile devices, Caleb and his colleagues developed a virtual braille keyboard for the iPhone’s touch screen. The virtual braille keyboard allows users to input text using the familiar six dot combinations that are used on a standard braille keyboard to input characters, numbers and punctuation symbols. Fitting six fingers on a small touch screen can best be done by entering the braille patterns vertically as opposed to the horizontal key placement on a traditional braille keyboard. Vertical entry requires that one learn to hold the phone correctly. Learning to hold the phone is a critical first step in becoming proficient with BrailleTouch. Allison and Robert describe their experiences with BrailleTouch. Robert reports that he is able to enter between 25 and 30 words a minute after only a few days of practice. Both Allison and Robert found it easy to become proficient with BrailleTouch. Others seem to find getting started more difficult. Caleb recommends that everyone study the user’s guide. He also offers to assist anyone who contacts him.
At present, BrailleTouch only supports uncontracted braille and editing is limited to the ability backspace to remove an unwanted character. Caleb says that grade II braille is a priority for a future release. He also has plans to offer more editing options.
To obtain more information, visit the