Prototype App May Make It Possible For The Blind To Use Tablets
I take for granted sometimes the things that "work" within my body. I get a couple of aches every now and again, but never anything "major." (Damn, I cant seem to find any wood around -- oh, here's some press wood.) Anyway, do you ever wonder how someone with little or no eyesight goes to work? Goes to school? Uses an iPad or an Android Tablet? Never crosses your mind, does it, as you slide your finger across your phone or tablet thousands of times?
The thought DID cross the minds of some pretty smart guys: NMSU undergraduate Adam Duran, Stanford Assistant Professor Adrian Lew, and Stanford Doctoral candidate Sohan Dharmaraja developed this new app as part of the Army High-Performance Computing Research Center's (AHPCRC) annual two-month summer immersion course. Before we get into that, a history lesson.
Each character in the Braille system — developed by Louis Braille for the French military — consists of a series of raised dots laid out in a 2x3 grid that are read with the fingertips. There are 63 possible character variations using the system, which is enough for the English alphabet, 10 numbers and a few punctuation marks. Characters beyond these are written using character-modification keystrokes on the traditional eight-button keyboard of Braille laptops -- which, by the way, will run you around $6,000!
This new system, however, could change everything...
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