The phone was a breakthrough invention as it allowed humans to communicate with each other in real-time, without having to be with each other. But for the deafblind community, it remained irrelevant. Until now.
Introducing Good Vibes app: Two-way communication tool for the deafblind
Designed for those who can neither see or nor hear, this app can be navigated through a set of hand gestures and tactile inputs. Once installed by the caregiver of a deafblind person, the Good Vibes app always remains on.
Invisible UI. Tactile UX.
- Just shake the phone once to turn on the app.
- The black screen is the messaging screen.
- You can compose words using combinations of “short tap” and “long press” on the screen. For example: 4 short taps, a 2-fingered tap, 2 short taps and a 2-fingered tap for the word ‘hi’
- While haptic feedback allows the deafblind person to sense the letters being tapped on the screen, the text display allows the caregiver to verify the message visually.
- Simply add the receiver’s name in the message.
- Flip the phone to send message.
- With proper training, any deafblind person will be able to decode the message received in the form of vibrations. For example: 4 short vibes, a pause, 2 short vibes for ‘hi’
The technology behind
The smartphone’s ability to vibrate offers the much needed tactile feedback to the deafblind. We combined it with the simplicity of a 180 year old language – the Morse code. Made up of just dots and dashes, Morse is a binary language, which can be perfectly translated into two distinct “tactile inputs” – short tap & long press; and two distinct “tactile outputs” – short & long vibrations. Combinations of these inputs make words, which when transmitted as vibrations, can be felt and decoded by the deafblind.
For the first time in human history, the deafblind have a two-way communication tool.