We were blown away by the possibilities of Tanvas, a cool piece of tech that lets you modulate friction on a tablet's touch screen. The instant we tried it we knew that it would be an awesome learning tool - especially for kinesthetic learners. The Tanvas folks warned us that Braille was not possible on their tablet, but we took the bull by the horns and tried to prove them wrong.
What it does
Tapleau is a tool for learning how to read and write new writing systems. The 'friction' technology of Tanvas provides an amazing learning interface for people with tactile memories, commonly referred to as kinesthetic learners. We believe this app would be the first of many sensory learning apps to come out on Tanvas. Not just Braille, but also with non-Latin alphabets. For proof of concept, Korean is also integrated into our system, but we anticipate adding many other complicated writing systems that require some degree of calligraphy, like Chinese, Japanese, Arabic, and Russian.
How we built it
We used the private Tanvas SDK to develop an Android app with Android Studio. Bing translate and Bing speech-to-text made the platform possible.
Challenges we ran into
The Tanvas is cool, but a bit glitchy. Documentation was patchy, and the device itself was limited in terms of debugging and would sometimes freeze/crash/run out of battery.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We're proud of being pioneers on the novel platform, and for continuing our passion for helping make the world a better place through education and empowerment, especially for the disadvantaged/disabled.