BrailleEasy: One-handed Braille Keyboard for Smartphones

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The evolution of mobile technology is moving at a very fast pace. Smartphones are currently considered a primary communication platform where people exchange voice calls, text messages and emails. The human-smartphone interaction, however, is generally optimized for sighted people through the use of visual cues on the touchscreen, e.g., typing text by tapping on a visual keyboard. Unfortunately, this interaction scheme renders smartphone technology largely inaccessible to visually impaired people as it results in slow typing and higher error rates. Apple and some third party applications provide solutions specific to blind people which enables them to use Braille on smartphones. These applications usually require both hands for typing. However, Brailling with both hands while holding the phone is not very comfortable. Furthermore, two-handed Brailling is not possible on smartwatches, which will be used more pervasively in the future. Therefore, we develop a platform for one-handed Brailing consisting of a custom keyboard called BrailleEasy to input Arabic or English Braille codes within any application, and a BrailleTutor application for practicing. Our platform currently supports Braille grade 1, and will be extended to support contractions, spelling correction, and more languages. Preliminary analysis of user studies for blind participants showed that after less than two hours of practice, participants were able to type significantly faster with the BrailleEasy keyboard than with the standard QWERTY keyboard.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationStudies in Health Technology and Informatics
PublisherIOS Press
Pages1030-1035
Number of pages6
Volume217
ISBN (Print)9781614995654
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Event13th European Conference on the Advancement of Assistive Technology, AAATE 2015 - Budapest, Hungary
Duration: 9 Sep 201512 Sep 2015

Publication series

NameStudies in Health Technology and Informatics
Volume217
ISSN (Print)09269630
ISSN (Electronic)18798365

Other

Other13th European Conference on the Advancement of Assistive Technology, AAATE 2015
CountryHungary
CityBudapest
Period9/9/1512/9/15

    Fingerprint

Keywords

  • accessibility
  • Arabic
  • Braille
  • English
  • keyboard
  • smartphone
  • text entry
  • touchscreen

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Health Informatics
  • Health Information Management

Cite this

Šepić, B., Ghanem, A., & Vogel, S. (2015). BrailleEasy: One-handed Braille Keyboard for Smartphones. In Studies in Health Technology and Informatics (Vol. 217, pp. 1030-1035). (Studies in Health Technology and Informatics; Vol. 217). IOS Press. https://doi.org/10.3233/978-1-61499-566-1-1030