One of the greatest warming trends technological advancements present to the world is helping the disabled lead a better and more productive life. Once the disabled have been served, then the average-bodied among us are able to reap the benefits of the advancements in favor of the human condition. First, we had Bluetooth breadcrumbs for the Blind; now we have a rhythmic touch screen with Braille bumps for the Blind.
Three novel interaction methods were designed for reading six-dot Braille characters from the touchscreen of a mobile device. A prototype device with a piezoelectric actuator embedded under the touchscreen was used to create tactile feedback. The three interaction methods, scan, sweep, and rhythm, enabled users to read Braille characters one at a time either by exploring the characters dot by dot or by sensing a rhythmic pattern presented on the screen. The methods were tested with five blind Braille readers as a proof of concept.
The Deaf iPhone is on its way and now, with this news of a rhythmic touchscreen for portable devices, the Blind iPhone is only but a touch away.