This mobile application primarily aims to provide faster communication for the blind and visually impaired people through their mobile phones.
The functionalities of the application can be divided into two purpose sets. The first is writing on a mobile phone, and the second is reading a text with the help of it.
Writing on phones by the blind or visually impaired people is carried out in two ways, by using the standard system keyboard whose main disadvantage is the time it takes when searching for the characters or using the speech-to-text feature which for obvious reasons is not always possible and even worse, completely violates the privacy of the user.
In this respect, our application offers a Braille alphabet based keyboard that consists of six keys that occupy the whole screen. They correspond to the six points used to mark all the characters in Braille alphabet. Although now, instead of detecting the combinations with the tips of the fingers, they are tapped on the screen to write the characters.
Through appropriate adjustments such as the different beeps for the keys, a variety of swipes across the screen (to delete a character, delete a whole word, enter a space, enter a new row etc.) simplicity and speed are provided in using the keyboard. By doing this, the blind and visually impaired people knowing the alphabet can write messages privately, quickly and without error.
Although it is quite simple, but because it is a new concept, within the application a quick tutorial is provided, in which, through short tests the user becomes familiar with the way the keyboard works. All this has been developed to function seamlessly with the Talk Back turned on and specially designed for easy navigation by the blind people.
Additionally, in the keyboard User Mode can be enabled, where the user can assign custom values - words, expressions - which he most often uses when writing, to the standard characters combinations.
The other part of the application is based on the Google Vision API, which is appropriately implemented to use the camera on the phone to detect text. Afterwards the text, using text-to-speech, is read to the user in real time. To start reading the text from the camera the user needs to tap on the screen, also to stop reading the user needs to tap again. To copy the text from the camera to clipboard the user needs to long press on the screen and the phone will vibrate as a confirmation that the text is copied successfully. This is a simple but powerful tool with a goal to help blind people interact with their environment.
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