Google to launch new virtual Braille Keyboard

Google has announced the launch of a virtual Braille keyboard for Android users with low vision or blindness. This new keyboard will enable these people to type on their phones without additional hardware.

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For the virtual Braille keyboard, Google has collaborated with braille developers and users to create it. It also ensured that the keyboard can be used anywhere, where a user would normally type such as social media, text messaging, and email apps. Hence, the new Braille keyboard will allow people with severe visual impairments to use their smartphones in a better way. It will allow them to type without using additional hardware for the same.

The braille keyboard will be rolled out to devices running Android 5.0 or newer through an update to the Android Accessibility Suite on the Google Play Store and will support braille grade 1 and grade 2 in English. A standard 6-key layout has been used in this keyboard with each key representing one of 6 braille dots which, when tapped, can make any letter or symbol. For example:

  • To type the letter A, user should tap dot 1.
  • To type the letter B, user should tap dots 1 and 2.
  • To type the letter C, user should tap dots 1 and 4.
  • To type the letter D, user should tap dots 1, 4, and 5.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Google CEO: Sundar Pichai; Headquarters: California, United States.

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