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Smartphone For the Blind Invented In India 46

Posted by samzenpus
from the let-your-fingers-do-the-talking dept.
hypnosec writes "The world's first smartphone for the blind that features a display capable of converting text and pictures into Braille and raised patterns has been invented in India. Based on Shape Memory Technology – a concept whereby metals expand and contract to retain their original shape – the phone's screen has a grid of pins. These pins move up and down based on the text or display to be represented."
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Smartphone For the Blind Invented In India

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 22, 2013 @06:23PM (#43519981)

    If it's a grid of pens, a lot of gestures based on swiping seem slightly risky because it could end up taking off a chunk of skin under a very rare corner case.

    1) Braille is read by running your fingers over the bumps. If there was a chance of slicing off skin from swiping over these pins, then it fails at the basic intended purpose of displaying braille in the first place.

    2) A lot of the gestures you're thinking of only make sense for the visual display on the phone. swiping a on/off switch to on only makes sense if you can make the visual connection to a switch metaphor from the graphics. This inherently doesn't work if you're blind since the metaphor is completely visual (and wouldn't carry over to a tactile experience well). Not to mention the OS would have to distinguish between a gesture operation vs a sweeping finger that is just reading the braille.

    It doesn't look like it's something you could throw any OS on and have it work as some sort of accessibility assistant for everything, but it's a technological advancement towards having both a portable text/image -> braille converters (the article looked like the phone could OCR off the camera and produce braille from that), as well as the hardware base for a more blind-friendly smartphone + OS.

  • by phantomfive (622387) on Monday April 22, 2013 @06:26PM (#43520007) Journal
    These things already exist [google.com]. Make sure your websites are accessible for blind people.

    iPhone already has a good accessibility system for blind people. You can drag your finger across the phone, and it will read whatever you are touching in a computer voice. It's amazing to watch a blind person using an iphone with it.

    Android has a similar system, except it's better because it's open to third parties, and worse because it is buggy.

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