I've been getting amazing feedback about Tipo from all around the world! People seem to be really excited about this, and I underestimated its impact initially. Its is amazing to know that something like this isnt already in the market!
Some of the things that came up in feedback:
1) Faster typing by directly switching between characters, instead of leaving all buttons.
Currently, one will need to leave all the buttons after pressing a button combination to register a character. Apparently, in modern braille typewriters, you can just go from one combination to another, without letting go of all the keys. This would effectively double the speed of typing. This was highlightened during some of the initial testing we did as well.
It might be a challenge to implement on the code, getting the timing of the button combination presses right, but is a great challenge and goal to work towards. If anyone has ideas, please pitch in!
2) incorporating grade 2 and grade 3 braille for faster typing.
There are a number of different versions of Braille:
- Uncontracted or Grade 1, which consists of the 26 standard letters of the alphabet and punctuation. It is only used by people who are first starting to read Braille.
- Contracted or Grade 2, which consists of the 26 standard letters of the alphabet, punctuation and contractions. The contractions are employed to save space because a Braille page cannot fit as much text as a standard printed page. Books, signs in public places, menus, and most other Braille materials are written in Contracted Braille.
- Grade 3, which is used mainly in personal letters, diaries, and notes, and also in literature to a limited extent. It is a kind of shorthand, with entire words shortened to a few letters. There is no official standard for this version of Braille.
The next step would be to at-least include grade-2 braille in the firmware.
3) Vibration motors under each button to help in Braille training
For someone who has gone blind, vs born blind, learning braille can he an effort. Tipo can function as a braille training assistant as well. Using vibration motors under the individual buttons, individuals can learn braille as well.