A lot of Braille keyboards available on Android platform that mimic the same way that Perkins machine does, some of those apps provided a good approach and the blind love it...but they do all have the same problem as the Braille language requires users to use six/eight fingers on the screen! This approach doesn't work while the screen reader is ON, this approach from my view doesn't work very well on small devices (less than four or five inches). What about a whole new idea in Braille mobile entry that might work on all dimensions without suspending the screen reader to type small sentences? A Braille keyboard that supports Arabic in its full representation? Typing using one hand and one finger? Maybe more than that? Keep reading.

What it does

Swift Braille project is about a soft keyboard that gives the ability to type in Braille language using one hand and one finger by connecting needed Braille dots. The project supports four languages and the blind is a part of this project developing, testing, and building it! Read more about project? Here we go.

How I built it

As the problem is very common on Android platform, using some of skills in Java programming language and some of studies about Android and how the system works, with such a great studio like Android studio, and some of help from YouTube and Stack Over Flow, magic has been done! Full features are listed here.

Challenges I ran into

Here, in Gaza, we have lack of electricity! Working on batteries all the time is not a good solution though! From other hand, the developer of the project -me- is a newbie in Android field (used to work as web developer all the time) to develop such a project, still need a lot to learn about programming in Android field!

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

  • The blind now a part of this project, they supported Spanish and French languages, testing beta versions and got a lot of suggestions to improve the project.
  • The project has been selected with other six projects from Palestine as the best projects to represent Palestine in WSA (World Summit Award - Palestine). Swift Braille is representing Palestine in Inclusion and Empowering category.
  • The project has just won with Alsabah award for informatics in its 16th round, and WSA-Palestine nominated the project to this Award, details.
  • The project has been featured on Product Hunt platform; a big community that contains on all new innovations, products, apps and more around the world.
  • Covered many times in Arabic and English media.

What I learned

Many things! Developing something to fix a problem for the blind community needs from you to be a part of them, talk to them, learn from them how to use Android and the device very well! Learned a lot from them how they work and use the technology to empower them with the community! Learned a lot of programming skills and met new people every single day because of this project.

What's next for Swift Braille Soft Keyboard

Technically details always in logs section, and you can keep an eye on the English or Arabic blog of the project.

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