We all go on cribbing about our touchscreen smartphones with a very user friendly interface but people who are blind can’t even think of using them, simply because they don’t have any other means of operating the phone. Keeping this in mind an intuitive designer Peter Lau has come up with the design of a tactile mobile phone for the blind, visually impaired, elederly users and sighted users which is good news for people with such unfortunate disability. Called as Touching, this concept mobile phone works on claw and fingertip action to initiate various functions like dialing numbers or searching through the phonebook for specific contacts. This ergonomic user experience comprises fourteen functional button that are easily locatable with finger tips or hand and for ease of use the main button are located in a grip for fast navigation with thumb. Although there is no outgoing SMS function right now but one can send SMS by recognizing the voice message and then translating it to send the message. On top of that the mobile phone has voice recording, MP3 playback, NFC (Near Field Communication) and wireless power recharging capabilities.
The unique geometric concaved faceted surface which makes tactile interaction possible is perfect for blind people for whom smartphones with smooth touchscreen surface is impractical. The three dimensional surface of phone surface has easy to remember key layout like send on front. To connect to and end calls there is a scroll button on the back side of mobile phone which makes it even easier for the blind to operate a mobile phone. Not only can one make calls with this concept mobile device but one can also play car racing game by following the voice instructions and moving the scroll wheel in either direction to change course.
At this point in time the designer has plans to make Touching mobile in a light plastic version and in the future there is plan to make Touching tactile mobile in a wrist watch version too. This is very humanitarian idea by the designer as most of the mobile device manufacturers have ignored making such a mobile phone, just because they are all busy researching, designing and manufacturing products for people who have no such disability.
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