An idea: Apple should make a Braille keyboard

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Hardware & Accessories

I'm not sure how to get to apple accessibilty for some reason nvda doesn't like clicking on the buttons so I can email them. So I was thinking you guys might be able to do it for me?

I was thinking that apple could make a braille keyboard to go along with there onscreen braille keyboard.
I'm not sure how good the onscreen keyboard will be but for me i think that having a keyboard I can touch with buttons on it would be better.
It could be a bluetooth keyboard that connects to your device and will then alouw you to input text using the keys of the braille keyboard.

What do you guys think?

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Comments

Submitted by charles on Monday, September 1, 2014

Why don't you buy a Bluetooth keyboard? There is no need for braille, as they are arranged just like a QWERTY keyboard. There is no need for any brailled keyboard on the iPhone or on an Apple computer. The whole idea of an iDevice is that they utilize a touch screen method of entry. Braille would only get in the way of operation. If you want buttons, get a less expensive and less accessible phone. Otherwise, have patience, work at your own pace, and learn to use the touch screen or, as I suggest, get qa Bluetooth keyboard.

Submitted by Michael Hansen on Monday, September 1, 2014

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

Hello Brad,

To contact Apple Accessibility, send an e-mail to Accessibility (at) Apple (dot) com, replacing (at) with the @ symbol and (dot) with the .[period] symbol.

Submitted by Laszlo on Monday, September 1, 2014

I wish this kind of "My way or the highway" reaction surprised me, but it does not. How is saying "Learn to use a touch screen with a standard Bluetooth keyboard or buy a less accessible phone" helpful?

I think Braille is an important means for accessing an iOS device. If entering text via a Braille keyboard--or Braille onscreen keyboard like mBraille--helps someone get the most out of their iOS device, shouldn't they be able to do so?

Brad, you may be interested in the Braille Pen/Braille Pen Slim. I'm not an expert on the devices, but I know one of the models (Braille Pen Slim, I believe) is just a Braille Bluetooth keyboard. It obviously costs more than a standard QWERTY model, but it sounds similar to what you're looking for.

Submitted by J.P. on Monday, September 1, 2014

It is a good idea! However, I don't think enough of a market for Apple to consider. For it to be profitable for them.

Submitted by riyu12345 (not verified) on Monday, September 1, 2014

Let me start off by saying. 1. I can use a touch screen just fine. 2. I can use a button phone just fine. 3 What I was getting at was that it would be nice to have an extra device wich would have 6 braille like keys that you could use to write input brailleinput into the device. It would not be slower in fact it would be quicker. think about the contractions. eE.r. I.N.G. and so on and so on. Yes there's going to be a touch screen braille keyboard which is going to be awesome and you can bet I'm going to check it out as soon as I can but I was just thinking of an idea. Yes I agree that apple most probably wouldn't do it. OH this is off topif but has anyone else notice that words are squoshed together when reading posts on this site sometimes when using firefox and NVDA? It seems to work fine on IE... It's strange. That's why some of this post has spelling mistakes in it. I've seen this happen about 3 or 4 ttimes now and have no idea what it is.

Submitted by AppleLady on Monday, September 1, 2014

Hi Brad, I like your idea for a bluetooth keyboard for six dot Braille entry on Mac and iOS devices. I can't see Apple creating such a thing, but another company like LogiTech could definitely do this. Or, even better, they could add the 9 extra keys for Braille input to one of their existing mainstream keyboards. So maybe most people wouldn't use that feature, I can think of lots of products with extra features that very few people use. The point is, it could be done and affordably too.

Submitted by jrjolley (not verified) on Monday, September 1, 2014

In reply to by Laszlo

I admit, I was very down on MBraille and the various other braille input apps because they aren't really a part of the OS. I'll certainly be trying out the braille support with direct touch on IOS 8, will be good for long texting sessions.

Seriously, the braille pens are alright, I have the display version but the keyboard only input version can be got from sight and sound in the UK as I think you are from here

Submitted by Kate on Friday, October 3, 2014

No need for Braille? There is if you can't see the qwerty keyboard. Even though my husband can touch type, it's still tricky to use a physical qwerty keyboard. And painfully slow to use the touch keypad on the iPhone. Thanks for letting us know about the Braillepen. We will check that out!

"Braille would only get in the way..." I'm not even sure what that means.

Submitted by Andy B. on Friday, October 3, 2014

Just get or have your voc rehab agency get you a focus 14.

Submitted by Jessica Brown on Friday, October 3, 2014

Hi. I have the BraillePenSlim and I think it's exactly what you want. It's about the same size as an iPhone 4s in an otterbox defender so it's small and good for packing around. It has the 6 dot keys for typing and a shift, space bar and ctrl key on the bottom. The dot keys are round and the other 3 are rectangle

Submitted by Jalys Ortiz on Thursday, October 23, 2014

I think one of the primary reasons Apple hasn't made their own is because, even though they do tailor their products to everyone, including the blind, they might not have the dedicated people or departments to do so. And there are already so many options for Braille keyboards out there... But that's just my guess.
And, to comment to the user that said to either learn the touch-screen keyboard or get a less-expensive phone, I very much disagree. I am a user that is comfortable with the screen, but I also love the ability to hook up my Braille Sense via Bluetooth and type on its Braille keyboard. To each his own, though, I suppose.

Submitted by riyu12345 (not verified) on Thursday, October 23, 2014

I tried the Braillepen and iddn't like it one bit.
I didn't like the way it felt. SO i got it sent back and got my money back.

Submitted by margaret on Sunday, December 22, 2019

In reply to by charles

there is plenty of need for a braille keyboard and many of us would love it.
just because you don't does not mean others do

Submitted by BlackCat on Sunday, December 22, 2019

In reply to by margaret

Hello
For almost 2 years now I sometimes use MBraille's piano mode to type, but after countless hours of practiceing I still make lots of typos. I would give an arm and a leg to obtain any form of Braille keyboard. That is the reason why my Astrum regular bluetooth keyboard is my Nr 1. Isn't it possible that either the developers of MBraille or Apple can manufacter some kind of haptic feed back within the app so a user can know exactly where to put your fingers and keep it there. I'm using an iPhone 8+ and the large size of the phone make it so very easy for 6 fingers to wonder in the wrong direction/

Submitted by Harryubu on Sunday, December 22, 2019

It could be a more elegant version of the BraillePen Slim and with better battery life - not all of us want a Braille display, just a keyboard capable of typing Braille and associated commands. Even better might be a format of a flattened tube like a penny whistle but on a lanyard, with dots 7 and 8 and Space keys on the underside.
Harry

Submitted by burak on Sunday, December 22, 2019

Hello,
There is a way of calibrating your fingers so you type more accurately. to calibrate braille dots, place the first three fingers of first your left hand, then your right, on the screen.

Submitted by Holger Fiallo on Sunday, December 22, 2019

Although it will be nice, you have a better chance of winning the mega million. Also Apple probibly will charge more than people have money. Case in point the mac pro for $6000. Bella the cat has a better chance of becoming president of the US.

Submitted by Oliver Kennett on Sunday, December 22, 2019

Yes, there are many products I'd also like apple to apply their design skills to however they are very specific with what they put out. For the most part it has to be mass market, such as the iPhone, or is prohibitively expensive such as the new Mac Pro.
Also, I'm not sure if this is still the case but Jobs always described apple as a software company, meaning, they put together existing hardware in such a way that it could be used in the maximum number of applications, hence the success of the iPhone, it's a magic wand, though a very flat one...
This isn't to say that apple will not create something that has this cabability in the future using a haptic and tactile input device that can shift its use dpedenet on the type of input required, but they won't ever make anything with such a singular use for such a small market, they rely on 3rd parties to create such products.
As other posters have said, I'd suggest persevering with the brail on screen keyboard. I personally prefer not having to carry around another piece of hardware. The only real downside is the inability to type the 'for' contraction, otherwise, with the type and swipe up and down to correct spelling, I think you could approach qwerty keyboard input speeds given time.
Hope this doesn't sound too bleak and, as always, just my own analysis of the situation.

Submitted by mority on Monday, December 23, 2019

Hi.

How often does this need to be said again and again? The Mac Pro isn't a home computer you simply put on your desk and edit your office documents.

The Mac Pro is aimed at proffessional users, creative artists, big media studios and the like.

6000 Dollars is peanuts and they will mostly go with a more powerfull edition, they possibly have the money in again after the first month or so.

Greetings Moritz.

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