Sparkins is a touch-based solution which helps visually impaired or blind children to learn the Perkins Brailler. Basically, it works exactly same as the Perkins Brailler but using a multi-touch support tablet PC which is empowered by Windows 7 Touch. Sparkins is equipped with adaptive finger position recognition to type. Users just need to register their first finger position by touching thescreen with a full six fingers and then Sparkins will measure the distance from every finger to set approximation of the next input touch. According to the first finger registration, input touch position will be predicted and translated to the braille code. The typed braille will appear in the top of the screen alongside its latin alphabet. To work as a Perkins Brailler, Sparkins fully exploits the multi-touch capabilities of Windows 7 Touch. A flicks to left is used as the space key, and flicks to right is used as the backspace key. The hold gesture is used to start the text-to-speech feature which narrates the typed words which is useful for user to check the typed words. While the gesture that is commonly used as rotate functions set the volume of the speech. Another way to check the typed words is by touching the generated braille. When the braille is touched by one finger, then the sound feedback spells every letter of the braille. But when it is touched by two finger, the sound feedback speaks per words. However, in checking the typed words and finding errors, it is difficult for visually impaired people to precisely touch the braille because the absence of guidance. Therefore, the preview mode is provided which works by put the braille in a row at the screen side from left bottom edge to left top edge, and then to right top edge and right bottom edge, and finish at left bottom edge. By preview mode, user can use the screen side as guidance in touching braille. To move to the next line and previous line of words, user can use the zoom out and zoom in gesture.
this project has won the Windows 7 Touch Challenge, Imagine Cup 2011 Competition as Worldwide first runner-up
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