New braille typing keyboard to increase accessibility of smartphones
A one-handed braille typing keyboard was launched last week by the Qatar Computing Research Insitute (QCRI). Called BrailleEasy, it is iOS compatible and transforms the two hand typing system into a one-handed one, intensifying the ease of use for touch screen devices.
BrailleEasy is compatible with Apple’s accessibility feature VoiceOver and is available in English and Arabic. The app was designed to facilitate visually impaired people’s inclusion in daily communication habits. An explanatory stand alone app, the BrailleEasy Tutor, was also developed to help people learn how to use it.
According to Dr. Vogel, research director at QCRI: “Smartphones and smartwatches are widely used in our day-to-day communication, which mostly is text based. Developing this Brailling app in collaboration with the local community has been a very rewarding experience,” as reported by the Qatar Tribune.
The app was developed with the joint effort of the QCRI, the Al Noor Institute for the Blind, the Qatar Assistive Technology Centre and the Qatar Social and Cultural Centre for the Blind.