MobiBraille : Mobile text entry for the blind

Mobile devices have become ubiquitous and indispensable. However their use by the visually impaired community is restricted in part due to the visually dominant mode of user input that these devices enforce. Most devices come with accessibility modes, but these modes rely on audio cues, that may distract the user from the task at hand. In this project we explore how haptic feedback and a electronic braille display can be leveraged to enable text entry on mobile devices for the visually impaired.

The prototype device shows the user typing on a typical keypad, with the index finger over the braille cell, this braille cell switches to indicate what key the user is about to enter and also gives feedback for the last entered key. The whole thing is controlled by an Arduino.

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A close up of the braille cells

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A concept render of how a production version of the device could look like

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