[video coming soon] We invited some friends who were willing to help us test the device. These were frequent user of braille and have been using it for their office/education purpose. Here are some useful insights we wish to share:
Things we were correct about-:
a) Sharing the idea of using such a device brought smiles to their face. They shared their thoughts about how they depend on their family members to type for them. Since they are users of touch-based cellphone, they were able to bring out the pain-points which could help us improve the braille keyboard.
b) They were immediately familiar with the working of the keyboard and started typing within minutes of introducing it to them. The form of the prototype helped them get acquainted to the orientation of the device. The spring action of push-buttons provided them with non-visual cues. The button-grip had enough space for fingers to slide into them.
c) The ability of the device to work with the cellphone wireless was satisfying. The keyboard can be detached from the mobile and would still function, nevertheless the form factor might change depending on whether the device is facing against or towards the user.
Things we learned from the user-:
a) The user preferred quicker typing algorithm, e.g. if the user presses (Dots 1 2) for 'b;' followed by (Dots 1 4) for 'c', he wouldn't want to lift his finger from (Dot 1). This can provide a positive impact on WPM(words per minute) count. For those who prefer using braille, the current keyboard prototype might have work on a different algorithm.
b) Additional features of the device could include the use of existing button as navigation keystrokes. The user often faces problem while scrolling for messages.
c) Battery management- There is a need for non-visual indicators for battery level indication. Also, the device charging port needs to carefully designed.