EdgeBraille: Braille-based text input for touch devices

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to discuss the issue of tailored text input methods for visually impaired and blind users that are needed on touchscreen devices to support their ccessibility. Previous approaches still have issues related to the necessity of searching for characters, slow entry speeds or cumbersome handling. Design/methodology/approach - The authors developed a new Braille-based text input method named EdgeBraille, which allows entering six-point Braille characters by swiping one finger along the edges of the touchscreen in an arbitrary sequence. The approach was compared with the current standard method of a talking keyboard, first in a short-term lab study (14 participants) and then during two weeks of daily training (seven participants). Findings - Overall EdgeBraille was perceived well by the users and possesses favourable handling characteristics. In terms of user performance (words per minute and error rate) the authors found no significant differences between the two methods. However, based on the evaluation results and the feedback of the participants the authors identified possibilities for improvement in terms of a smaller EdgeBraille version allowing the entry of eight-point Braille characters, and conducted a proof-of-concept study (seven articipants). Originality/value - In the paper the authors comprehensively reflect on advantages and disadvantages of Braille-based methods in general and EdgeBraille in particular. The authors argue why and how Braille-based methods should serve as complement to current text input paradigms based on talking keyboard and indicate future directions of research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)147-158
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Assistive Technologies
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Research Field

  • Former Research Field - Technology Experience


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