The App Features
The BrailleTouch App for iPhone and iPod Touch promises its users the opportunity to type on a Braille touch screen keyboard. This capability makes it possible for users that write Braille the opportunity to type e-mails, text messages and tweets from their iPhone after purchasing the full version of the app after the free download from the app store.
The BrailleTouch Keyboard is laid out so that the user that learned to write Braille on the Perkins Brailler can access the keypad with the same fingers that he or she uses on the Brailler or other electronic Braille writing devices. However, because of the layout of the keypad, the user must hold their iPhone in a landscape position so they can use their pointer, middle and ring fingers on both their right and left hands to type on the BrailleTouch Keypad. As the user types on the keypad, the voice over features within the app will dictate the Braille letters as the user types.
|Screen shot of Braille user display on the iPhone|
|The recommended way to hold the device for best accessibility|
My Take On the App
Becoming comfortable typing Braille on my iPhone in this position took about two-three hours. At first it felt awkward and my ability to type words was slow. However, keep in mind I do not use Braille as a primary means of written communication but this change in ergonomics does require a learning curve for those that are used to writing in a traditional Braille keyboard position.
Overall, this is a great Braille touch screen but it needs more access options at the price the developers are currently asking with the time it takes to learn to type on the app.
Below is a link to a video of a live demo of the app: