Thesis

1-TUI: mobile user interface for blind users

With the rise of iPhone and Android, computing devices became more accessible and mobile for the general users. In an attempt to help the blind users, few User Interfaces (UI) such as text to speech, screen reader, and Braille display are developed. However, these UI's are either unsuitable for technical reading/writing or too expensive. This thesis solves these issues by combining screen reader and Braille display to create a new UI. Named 1-Cell Tactile User Interface (1-TUI), the proposed UI retains the key features of both Braille display and screen readers such as technical read/write, read-flow control, 2-dimensional navigation, reliable user input, and lower cost. This project implements 1-TUI by developing a Braille Translator Library, an 1-TUI API for Android, an 1-TUID test unit, and Android applications using 1-TUI API. The Android applications are used for testing so the usability of 1-TUI can be compared against the original UI's. Due to the scarcity of Braille users, a system test is done with a beginner-level Braille user. The test reveals that reading in 1-TUI is 72.17% faster and 25.97% more accurate than reading in printed Braille when used by Braille beginners. The test also indicates that 1-TUI is 150.00% slower than screen readers, but further analysis suggests that this difference would be reduced to 9.99% if the subject is fluent in Braille.

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