Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/09/18/nokia_braille_reader/

Nokia launches Braille Reader app

Helping the blind read texts on touchscreen mobiles

By James Sherwood

Posted in Phones, 18th September 2009 10:28 GMT

Nokia has launched a mobile phone application that lets blind people read text messages.

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The application requires the user’s phone to have a vibration mode, Nokia said, because it essentially turns the characters of a text message into Braille.

Nokia Braille Reader opens automatically when an SMS is received. However, the user has to hold their finger onto the screen before the application will start reading the SMS out letter by letter in Braille.

If the user takes their finger off of the phone’s screen then SMS read out is paused.

Nokia’s application was developed with help from Tampere University in Finland and the Finnish Federation of Visual Impairment. It is available – in beta format – to download online now for free.

Several applications have been developed over the past year that aim to help the blind take advantage of mobile phones, specifically touchscreen handsets.

For example, Stroke Dialler – launched back in April and for Android-based phones - lets users dial any number between zero and nine by stroking their fingers in a specific direction across the screen. ®