New Touch Keyboard For The Blind From Israeli Startup Inpris

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By Avi Schneider

Touch is a technology already well into its stride. Super LCD, Full HD Super AMOLED, Retina Display, Youm (can’t wait for these) – with every consecutive generation of phone/tablet device, the quality is improved and a new resolution standard is crowned king.

Absorbed though in the race for quality as they are, device engineers seem to have abandoned the quest for functionality; a frontier of touch technology left largely unexplored. Apple made some early strides in this arena and others have copied them (as has become the comical accepted convention) but the full range of possible applications remains mostly up for grabs for anyone talented and creative enough to explore it.

Blind typing

One such company is Inpris. An Israeli startup founded by father and son team, Ben-etzion and Nissan Yaron. The company is the developer of UpSense, a mobile app that is the first fully gesture based keyboard. Each character has its own unique gesture allowing for blind typing on tablets and smartphones. The keyboard adjusts itself to the individual user’s hands and the default gestures are customizable.

 

The notion of ‘blind typing’ can be taken literally in this case for although the company eventually sees UpSense as being a legitimate alternative keyboard for all users of touch devices, they’re first target market happens to be the visually impaired. The application offers a mode of typing so similar to that of braille typing that blind users already proficient in braille typing can pretty much get going on UpSense right away. For the general market, or blind users who aren’t yet experienced in braille typing, there’s definitely going to be a learning curve involved. CEO and co-founder Nissan Yaron said to give it a minimum of 30 minutes of practice. I suspect it’ll take some time longer till one can really fly on this thing.

I have to admit though, I am somewhat skeptical as to UpSense’s adoption rate potential for the general public. Even if UpSense is a far more comfortable and ergonomic way of typing, as Nissan claims it to be, I just don’t see users feeling a strong enough need to embark on such a dramatically different learning experience when so many other options of type, Swype and voice are already getting the job done for them, as well as they are.

(read more at  GeekTime)


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