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Nokia's New 'Vibe' Braille Helps the Blind Read Text Messages

As part of an ongoing effort to refine and improve mobile communication options for the blind, Nokia Labs has introduced a new SMS application (video after the break) that allows blind users to receive Braille text messages via the company's touch phones. The program receives the tactile texts, and, with a series of coded vibrations, relays the message to the user.

To date, most blind-accessible phones have featured devices that process text messages and then read them aloud to the user, rather than using vibrations. There are several more new developments in mobile software oriented towards the visually impaired, too. An iPhone app currently in development at iVisit is reported to be able to recognize everyday objects with the phone's camera, and identify them aurally for blind users. (The iPhone features several apps for the hearing impaired as well, including soundAMP and iHearClear.) CodeFactory, too, offers a variety of mobile downloads and applications for the visually impaired, including software that magnifies a phone's screen for better visibility.

While purists may argue that Braille without the bumps can't, in good conscience, be called Braille, Nokia's newest device is definitely an important and positive step towards the realization of a newer, more direct mobile syntax for the blind, which we find extremely encouraging. [From: The Register and Engadget]

Tags: braille, health, mobileapps, nokia, top, visuallyimpaired



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