Braille Is Being Used In Smartphones To Help The Visually Challenged

smartphoneTechnology has transformed lives in several ways. New smartphones with improved applications are being developed for the visually impaired. Messages on these phones can be read with the help of Braille. With the help of a Braille app a blind person can read out a text message or an email. Six buttons on the phone represent the six-dot code which is used by Braille to represent English alphabets. As the user types an alphabet the app reads out each letter. Reading and typing messages becomes easy for people with vision impairment.

A Braille app is useful

Smartphones have become an integral part of our life. For every text or mail they vibrate or ping to catch out attention. Developers of smartphones have focused on the need of smartphones for blind users. A team of researchers in India has come up with a phone which can turn text and smartphones into Braille. Sharp memory alloy technology was used to design the smartphones. The natural property of metals was used where they expand and contract to their original size. The phone’s screen comprises of a grid of pins which can descend and elevate to represent a character. Once the text loads the pins form a Braille character which is easy for the user to comprehend.

Making use of Braille

Braille apps have helped blind people to use smartphones. They do not need to use extra expensive equipment to read and send text. In a Braille smartphone, physical features are raised on the surface. The surface can be used to create a physical representation of a picture. Braille letters are displayed on the surface which can be easily comprehended by the blind. Technology which has been used to develop the smartphone has changed the lives of many. A smartphone has been developed which allows blind people to type on the touchscreen. It is based on the familiar six-key Braille keyboard which the visually impaired are familiar with.

Apps make life easier

Some apps have been developed for smartphones which can make the interface larger and clearer for the blind. They allow the users to do more speaking and listening on the phone. It is easy to call preset numbers and texts can be sent with the help of voice commands. It is easy to map out locations and travel easily. With the help of optimal character recognition, the phone can read signs, timetables and menus.

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For visually impaired

Few years back smartphones had to be paired with expensive devices if blind people wanted to use them. But developers today are focusing on the need of the visually challenged. This has saved them thousands of dollars. The world of smartphones is being opened to the blind. A researcher at Georgia Tech University has developed an app which is of great help to the visually impaired. A character can be punched into the phone with the help of a combination of six touch screen buttons. The app will read out the character aloud which helps the user to ascertain whether he has entered the right character. Assistive technology for visually impaired is being used to develop new software.

Designed for the blind

Some developers have come up with user-friendly smartphones which are bringing changes in the lives of the blind. The smartphones are making daily activities easy. Through vibration and vocal prompts users can send text messages, make urgent calls and listen to audio books. It is important to note that the smartphones are adapting to the personal needs of the visually challenged. Within a matter of time, further changes will be brought about in the smartphone.

Author Bio: Samuel Lewis is a researcher in Yale University. He has made use of assistive technology for visually impaired to design a smartphone app. This app helps the visually challenged to download audio books easily. 

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