This braille keyboard, as well as the refreshable braille display (https://hackaday.io/project/10849-refreshable-braille-display) is a step to bring braille into the digital age, at a cost affordable to those who need it.
Using a standard keyboard is very difficult to use by the visually impaired due to the learning curve. Even with using a braille overlay on a standard keyboard( braille embossed on the keys), the issue of speed still persists. Due to different keyboard sizes in laptops, it's not possible to find something of one particular standard.
With the advent of budget smartphones/tablets, the visually impaired can now have access to powerful technology, but a huge majority of the smartphone market is dominated by touchscreens.
Thus, an affordable tactile input device is the need of the hour for the visually impaired that can be used along with smartphones/tablets as well as PC's/Laptops.
Possible outcomes of this initiative:
-Increase in efficiency at work/higher throughput, enabling better paying jobs.
-Ability to use services like instant messaging better ( and thus aid communication, reach, and network for the visually impaired)
- BLIND CODERS! : would enable and encourage more visually impaired to take up coding, and hence improve their social and financial status
User group feedback:
Taking Feedback from the visually impaired community in my city, I've improved on the industrial design .
the keys of the device would be curved so that fingers do not slip off of the buttons. Also, tactile feedback is important, thus, appropriate buttons will be selected.
Using a USB micro cable adds additional challenge of orientation, and appropriate indicators must be embossed on the cable end, and the device to prevent confusion.
No drivers required
Off the shelf components
4 Direction buttons
12 Brailler type buttons
Bluetooth compatibility for smartphones
USB connector for PC/Mac
Rechargeable battery backup
Vibration Motor for Feedback
Software to speak out character's as they are typed.