Qatar Today - - AFFAIRS > TECH TALK -

BrailleEasy, a cus­tom one-handed Braille key­board de­vel­oped in Qatar, has now been launched on the iOS App Store.

The app com­bines the com­fort of one-handed typ­ing with the speed of two-handed Braille-like typ­ing, and can be used by both Ara­bic and English-speak­ing users. It comes with an ex­ten­sive tu­to­rial that walks the user through step by step, the set of ges­tures is easy to learn and ex­e­cute, and be­ing self-voic­ing makes it pos­si­ble for those who do not de­pend on screen read­ers to use it fully. It also paves the way for those with lim­ited hand move­ment to type in Braille on their touch screen.

The ap­pli­ca­tion was de­vel­oped by re­searchers at the Qatar Com­put­ing Re­search In­sti­tute (QCRI). Stephan Vo­gel, the Re­search Di­rec­tor of QCRI's Ara­bic Re­search Tech­nolo­gies, said the app was re­leased for free and its code has been re­leased as open source. “The idea is to send BrailleEasy out into the com­mu­nity so that other de­vel­op­ers, both lo­cal and world­wide, can add to it, im­prove it, adapt it to other lan­guages,” Dr Vo­gel said.

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