Open Assistive Device, shifting the focus of text-editing from vision to touch+audial, edit text without eyesight.

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Text-editing is a sight-led activity. To be able to do it well, one must be able to:
1. locate the cursor's position on the screen
2. read the text around the cursor to gain an understanding of where s/he is in the text

Both of these are done using eyesight, and if one has poor or no eyesight, it can be tough.

I'm trying to find a solution to text-editing that is completely independent of eyesight.
To achieve this, I'm tapping on the senses of touch and hearing.

To read the text, instead of staring at a monitor, the user drags some sliders and listen to synthesized speech of the text.

When the user types, instead of characters appearing/disappearing on the monitor, the sliders reposition themselves to manifest a physical representation of the text.

Watch this video to see it in action :

What is ChorusText?
ChorusText is a text editor. But it's a special kind of text editor, the user doesn't need to have eyesight to do text editing using ChorusText.

On the surface of the device, there are three physical sliders that the user can reach out to at any time.

Changing the position of the slider would cause the system to pull out the corresponding part of the text and speaks the content out loud, using text-to-speech.

So changing the position of the line slider's knob from top to bottom will result in the system reading the text progressively line by line.

And changing the position of the word slider knob from left to right will result in the system reading the words in the current line, progressively word by word.

And likewise, changing the position of the character slider knob from left to right will result in the system spelling the letters of the current word, in the current line, progressively letter by letter.

This way, the user can read the text he's working on with ease, and can drill down to the level of characters effortlessly, for example, when spell-checking.

Furthermore, as the user types, the sliders continuously reposition themselves to physically manifest the latest state of the text and where the user is in the text.

If he adds two more characters to the current word, the character slider would move two steps to the right.
If he adds three words to the line, the word slider would move three steps to the right.
Deleting the current line would make the line slider to move one step up, and so on.

The cursor is no longer an abstract blinking thing, that only lives inside the monitor, where the only way to locate its position is by means of eyesight.

It is now physically manifested by the three sliders.

Simply reach out to the sliders with your hand and listen, the text is immediately accessible and navigable – no eyesight required.

  • Embarking on Collaborative Text Editing

    David Effendi07/30/2015 at 04:41 0 comments

    Just wrote some code that will function as a Server for multiple ChorusText devices to connect to. It's pretty basic right now, only establishing connection and a session manager, but the goal is to make it into a real-time, collaborative text-editing platform, where multiple authors connect to a session and work on the same document, in real-time.

    The real-time-ness won't be at the level of per-keystroke basis, but per-line basis. Like etherpad-lite (, but with per-line updates and touch+hearing based.

    Once we have a system to navigate and edit text reliably, the door to many more possibilities opens... ChorusText is not designed to be just a standalone text-editor, let's make a collaborative platform and bring minds together! :)

  • First log

    David Effendi06/28/2015 at 02:45 0 comments

    ChorusText is going to the Singapore Maker Faire 2015! Yay!

    This will take place 11 - 12 July, at: 15 Tampines Street 11 Singapore 529454.

    The place is very close to the Changi Airport, and there's a free shuttle bus service to the venue every half hourly from Tampines MRT station (which is just a few MRT stations away from the Airport)

    This year's Maker Faire Singapore is bigger than any of the previous years' ~ its going to be exciting!

    Here's a link to the official Maker Faire Singapore 2015 info page:

View all 2 project logs

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David Effendi wrote 06/05/2015 at 08:04 point

More details, components list, build instructions and project log coming soon! 

For the impatient, there are videos on the ChorusText website (and on some of the blog posts there)

Feel free to drop me an email too! :)

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