Stanford University: Touchscreen Braille

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Thanks to Stanford University, the world of tablet computing has now been opened up to the visually impaired. Student Adam Duran, a senior at New Mexico State University, helped create a touchscreen-based Braille writer along with two Stanford academics. It allows a tablet to be used as a Braille keyboard;and, in a master stroke, instead of creating virtual keys that the fingertips must find, the keys actually find the fingertips. The user simply touches eight fingertips to the glass, and the keys orient themselves to the fingers.

While it's not clear yet in what form the device will reach final users, the team says it is in talks about a number of options. But an Android app would be far cheaper than other devices that let visually impaired people type in Braille on a computer, and could revolutionize communication for this group of people.