Objective comparisons between
Exploration and Gesture based
keyboards for the blind
Adit Gupta,
IIT Gandhinagar

Dr. Nikhi...
Introduction

Motivation
About 8.075 million of the total
35 million
blind population is in India (about 21%)
But only 5% ...
Technology

Current Assistive Technology for
text typing
Range from Braille Sense Plus (6000 USD) with a
Braille Display t...
What about making information
available to everyone on the go?

11/26/2013
Research
Goal

But how does a blind individual
type and reach information without
tactile feedback?
This question became t...
Braille

Before going further,

A bit of background in Braille
3 by 2 binary matrix, encodes upto 63 characters

11/26/201...
The current cutting edge research
on Eyes-Free text typing.
- Highly researched area in the West.
- We focused on the two ...
BrailleTouch

BrailleTouch
Georgia Tech Research

Drawbacks
Numeric keypad is not simple to use
Both hands are required
Hi...
Talkbac
k

Google’s Android TalkBack
Google Inc.
Enables Explore-by-Touch

Drawbacks
Numeric keypad is not simple to use
1...
So we put them Head-to-Head
and compared their results
objectively
BrailleTouch vs Android Talkback Keyboard

11/26/2013
BPA

BPA, Ahmedabad
Established in 1947, has 15 campuses across
Gujarat, with 300 odd employees and many more
students
Tau...
Demographics

We recruited 4 completely Blind
participants for our study…
Each participants used mobile phones with a TTS ...
Usability testing strategy

11/26/2013

Research
strategy
App

The Experiment App
Simple Key logger; No need for a very aesthetically
appealing design

BrailleTouch

Android Talkba...
Aggregated results – Keystroke
Timings
BrailleTouch
14000

12000

Time required (milliseconds)

10000

8000

6000

4000

2...
Can we now conclude that
BrailleTouch is a better technique?
Let’s take a closer look at the typing errors by our
subjects...
Aggregated results – Keystroke
Timings
BrailleTouch
3.5

3

2.5

Number of errors total

2

1.5

1

0.5

0

11/26/2013

Re...
Data manipulation

Keystroke time inclusive of errors
Typed
character

Target
character

Match

Timestamp

t
j
backspace
h...
Insights

Aggregated results –
Error Inclusive Keystroke Timings

11/26/2013
Learnings

Take home #1

Is BrailleTouch or Android
Talkback keyboard ideal?
Maybe a hybrid approach between exploration a...
Learnings

Take home #2

Indian Blind users prefer the British
accented voice feedback more than
the American accent!
A si...
Learnings

Take home #3

Have lesser motor control in their
ring finger to type
Clear from the errors increasing with the ...
Learnings

Take home #4

Editing previously typed words
functionality is essential
Through my direct observations and the ...
Learnings

Future: A Hybrid approach?
A longer term study would be required for this
research.

11/26/2013
Thanks!

11/26/2013
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Objective comparisons of Exploration and Gesture based touchscreen keyboards for the Blind

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Comparing different techniques for typing on touchscreens like BrailleTouch and the Google Talkback

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Objective comparisons of Exploration and Gesture based touchscreen keyboards for the Blind

  1. 1. Objective comparisons between Exploration and Gesture based keyboards for the blind Adit Gupta, IIT Gandhinagar Dr. Nikhil Balram, President and CEO, Ricoh Innovations Corporation 11/26/2013
  2. 2. Introduction Motivation About 8.075 million of the total 35 million blind population is in India (about 21%) But only 5% of them use or receive support from assistive technology of any form! – WHO report 11/26/2013 Pascolini D, Mariotti SPM. Global estimates of visual impairment: 2010. British Journal Ophthalmology Online First published December 1, 2011 as 10.1136/bjophthalmol-2011-
  3. 3. Technology Current Assistive Technology for text typing Range from Braille Sense Plus (6000 USD) with a Braille Display to GalaTee (400 USD) in the USA Braille Sense Plus 11/26/2013 Images from Nanopac.com and amazon.com respectively GalaTee
  4. 4. What about making information available to everyone on the go? 11/26/2013
  5. 5. Research Goal But how does a blind individual type and reach information without tactile feedback? This question became the backbone of our research 11/26/2013
  6. 6. Braille Before going further, A bit of background in Braille 3 by 2 binary matrix, encodes upto 63 characters 11/26/2013Brian Frey, Caleb Southern, and Gregory D. Abowd. 2011. BrailleTouch: designing a mobile eyes-free soft keyboard. In Proceedings of the 13th International Mario Romero, Conference on Human Computer Interaction with Mobile Devices and Services (MobileHCI '11). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 707-709.
  7. 7. The current cutting edge research on Eyes-Free text typing. - Highly researched area in the West. - We focused on the two which are in vogue keeping Indian Blind participants in mind 11/26/2013
  8. 8. BrailleTouch BrailleTouch Georgia Tech Research Drawbacks Numeric keypad is not simple to use Both hands are required Highly Memory dependent (Braille) 11/26/2013Brian Frey, Caleb Southern, and Gregory D. Abowd. 2011. BrailleTouch: designing a mobile eyes-free soft keyboard. In Mario Romero, Proceedings of the 13th International Conference on Human Computer Interaction with Mobile Devices and Services (MobileHCI '11). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 707-709.
  9. 9. Talkbac k Google’s Android TalkBack Google Inc. Enables Explore-by-Touch Drawbacks Numeric keypad is not simple to use 11/26/2013
  10. 10. So we put them Head-to-Head and compared their results objectively BrailleTouch vs Android Talkback Keyboard 11/26/2013
  11. 11. BPA BPA, Ahmedabad Established in 1947, has 15 campuses across Gujarat, with 300 odd employees and many more students Taught Braille in 3 languages- English, Hindi & Gujarati 11/26/2013 bpa.org Photograph from
  12. 12. Demographics We recruited 4 completely Blind participants for our study… Each participants used mobile phones with a TTS on a daily basis. Nokia C5 series was a phone commonly used by them. Quite often keep in touch with me via email! Participant Age Braille education Smartphone education P1 52 K-12 0 P2 27 K-10 0 P3 29 K-12 0 P4 30 K-12 4 months 11/26/2013
  13. 13. Usability testing strategy 11/26/2013 Research strategy
  14. 14. App The Experiment App Simple Key logger; No need for a very aesthetically appealing design BrailleTouch Android Talkback 11/26/2013
  15. 15. Aggregated results – Keystroke Timings BrailleTouch 14000 12000 Time required (milliseconds) 10000 8000 6000 4000 2000 0 11/26/2013 results Android Stock Keyboard
  16. 16. Can we now conclude that BrailleTouch is a better technique? Let’s take a closer look at the typing errors by our subjects 11/26/2013
  17. 17. Aggregated results – Keystroke Timings BrailleTouch 3.5 3 2.5 Number of errors total 2 1.5 1 0.5 0 11/26/2013 Results Android Stock Keyboard
  18. 18. Data manipulation Keystroke time inclusive of errors Typed character Target character Match Timestamp t j backspace h e space t h h h e space 1 0 0 1 1 1 16:11:32 16:11:35 16:11:38 16:11:41 16:11:45 16:11:48 Timestamp Textbox Input (Milliseconds) 1925859247 1925862314 1925865627 1925869157 1925872317 1925875522 t tj t th the the Hence, Actual time required to type ‘h’ = 3067 + 3313 + 3530 = 9910 millisecs! (inclusive of errors) Whereas it’s 3530 millisecs in the previous method 11/26/2013 Keystroke Time (Milliseconds) 2539 3067 3313 3530 3160 3205
  19. 19. Insights Aggregated results – Error Inclusive Keystroke Timings 11/26/2013
  20. 20. Learnings Take home #1 Is BrailleTouch or Android Talkback keyboard ideal? Maybe a hybrid approach between exploration and gesture might be ideal since both have huge drawbacks. A longer term study on the participants would make it clear 11/26/2013
  21. 21. Learnings Take home #2 Indian Blind users prefer the British accented voice feedback more than the American accent! A simple reason for this is that the colloquial terms are crisp and clear in the British accent 11/26/2013
  22. 22. Learnings Take home #3 Have lesser motor control in their ring finger to type Clear from the errors increasing with the dots in the Braille cell 11/26/2013
  23. 23. Learnings Take home #4 Editing previously typed words functionality is essential Through my direct observations and the user’s feedback 11/26/2013
  24. 24. Learnings Future: A Hybrid approach? A longer term study would be required for this research. 11/26/2013
  25. 25. Thanks! 11/26/2013

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