Introducing BrailleTouch - an iPhone app for typing in braille on your touchscreen
By BrailleTouch, 27 December, 2012
iOS and iPadOS
Greetings and Happy Holidays!
My name is Caleb, and I'm one of the developers of a new iPhone app called BrailleTouch. BrailleTouch allows you to type using braille on your touchscreen, and is based on the standard six key braille keyboard. We are excited to announce that BrailleTouch will be on the App Store by the end of January! We hope that you will like BrailleTouch and find it useful. I'm happy to answer any questions you may have, and I've included some more information about the app below.
With BrailleTouch, you can send text messages, emails, and tweets from the touchscreen braille keyboard. You can also copy text you type in braille to the clipboard and paste it into other apps on your iPhone. There is a free version of BrailleTouch, so you can try it before you buy it. The free version lets you type in braille and hear the text you entered. Many braille instructors have told us that they would like to use BrailleTouch as a teaching tool, which the free version will support. Additional features are available as an In App Purchase. The upgrade allows you to send text messages, emails, and tweets from the touchscreen braille keyboard, and also allows you to copy text from the touchscreen braille keyboard and paste it into other apps on your iPhone.
BrailleTouch is based on research conducted at Georgia Tech in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, where I am a graduate student. My colleagues and I tested the software with eleven volunteers who are blind. We found that people who knew the standard Perkins braille keyboard were able to master BrailleTouch within an hour of practice and type at an average of 23 words per minute using Grade 1 braille. We received such positive feedback that we were inspired to take this research out of the laboratory and release BrailleTouch to the public. We hope this software will provide a helpful alternative to the VoiceOver split tap keyboard, and that it will help improve the mobile computing experience for people in the blind community who use an iPhone.
BrailleTouch is fully compatible with VoiceOver. It works on the iPhone 3GS through the iPhone 5, iPod touch models since the 3rd generation, and requires iOS 5.0 or a later operating system. BrailleTouch is only for the iPhone and iPod touch, and is not supported on the iPad. The first release is based on North American English Grade 1 Uncontracted Braille. You can choose to hear speech feedback for each character you type, each word you type, or both.
More information about BrailleTouch is available on our website:
The website includes a User Guide and Frequently Asked Questions. You can also sign up for our email list, and we will notify you when we have an exact release date in January for the app.
We are also on Twitter:
With the free version of BrailleTouch, you can try out the touchscreen braille keyboard and hear the text that you typed read back to you. The Upgrade allows you to send text messages, emails, and tweets, and also allows you to copy text from the braille keyboard to paste into other apps. The upgrade costs US$19.99.
I am happy to answer any questions you may have. We are very excited about the upcoming release of BrailleTouch on the App Store. I hope that you will like BrailleTouch and find it useful.
Best wishes and happy holidays,
The BrailleTouch Team
[I have edited this post, based on a change to simplify the upgrade process to get the full set of features.]