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Nokia Labs has been busy again, this time bringing SMS reception to the blind with a Braille-based text message reader compatible with the company's latest touch-screen phones. Blind people usually have little difficulty using mobile phones, but reading text messages can be more of a challenge. Nokia has created an application …

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Anonymous Coward

txt to spch

They need a text to speech that understands common SMS abbreviations, also if the phone has a camera, why does it not read text and text to speech that. Then blind people don't need Braille as a substitute for printed text.

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@AC

Is the whole idea not that it is silent?

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Silver badge

They already have text to speech

I've got it on my E90.

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Paris Hilton

Is it just me?

Or did he sound like one of those robotic text to speech synthesisers?

Some would find it sexy, I suppose.

Paris Hilton's knickers are probably on auto-pilot as he speaks.

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i'm impressed

i hope they allow other phones to provide the same features without charging any licensing fees or such.

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Anonymous Coward

@@Ac

"Is the whole idea not that it is silent?"

Well perhaps add an earpiece then? Afterall, it buzzes, so it's not totally silent.

I kind of think the Nokia guys forgot that Braille is a means to an end not an end in itself.

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@ Anonymous Coward

To convert a snapshot of text into speakable text requires Optical Character Recognition (OCR), and OCR is not noted for "first-time, every-time" accuracy--not to mention even with that it's slow as molasses.

As I read this, I wonder if anyone's considered making a phone specifically for the blind, replacing the display screen with a refreshable braille display.

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Impressive...

but why display the Braille?

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@@@Ac

I think your missing the point.

The point is it alowes people to read text messages, not just hear them.

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Megaphone

Display braille for the almost-and-soon-to-be-totally-blind?

I don't see much more reason.

As for interface, I'd expect the opposite, let user wave over letter and get buzzed on touching a bump (you'll quickly get used to knowing left or right bump of the six). Thus you control the speed yourself --- this seems toooo slow for any use. (A bit like spelling things out is sign language, the worst features of two languages together.)

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Joke Alert....?

"Nokia Labs has been busy again, this time bringing SMS reception to the blind with a Braille-based text message reader compatible with the company's latest... *touch-screen* phones.

Blind people usually have little difficulty using mobile phones."

The major issue with the Trend for touch screens in consumer electronics there is no tactile or haptic feedback for anyone relying on touch alone to read, use or interface with a human computer interface. Blind people have pretty much been... blindfolded? in thier attempts to enjoy or use the latests devices on the markets.

as an experimental application its interesting, but has no place for a blind person on a full touch device, unless...

.....@Marvin the Martian.

What you are asking for there is the touch screen Holy Grail for both sighted and non sighted use, very accurate tactile, and haptic feedback which have yet to hit the mass market. once we see these on full touch devices I would suggest your solution would be pretty good.

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Joke

Kudos, Nokia!

Excellent idea.

Now I don't need to modify my masturbation habits. I can still use the phone when I go blind!

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Errr...

Clever piece of software, and understandably useful. Just wondering how the (blind) user would know where to find the application's launch icon on their phone's interface in the first place....

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