A small team of engineers from Stanford and New Mexico State University have released a free app that makes typing Braille easy on tablet computers. Traditional Braille typewriters have physical keys assigned to each finger, but the flat uniform screen of a tablet seems totally inappropriate as an input device for blind people. What the iBrailler app actually does is automatically move the keys to be just where the fingers are.
This is done by the user simply placing all the fingers on the screen before typing, with the app registering the location of all the fingers. If the user wants to recalibrate the keys, simply lifting the hands off the screen and placing them back on does the trick.
There are a few other tricks that the app does like easy undo by simply twisting one of the fingers on the screen and launching Google with a keystroke. Results of searchers are read out using a simulated voice.
Since there are a variety of Braille standards and alphabets, the app can support many of those including different languages and scientific and mathematical formats.
The app is currently available for Apple iPads and can be downloaded for free from the iTunes store.
iTunes download: iBrailler Notes…
More from Stanford about the development of the app: Stanford engineer produces free Braille-writer app…