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 that renders received messages as Braille characters and then uses vibrations to convey those characters to the user.
Several models of phone can read out text messages automatically, and Code Factory even makes screen-reading software to allow blind users to navigate the S60, Blackberry or Windows Mobile interface without needing to see the screen.
But the solution from Nokia Labs is also silent, which can be important on occasion.
It's not as elegant as causing raised bumps to appear on the screen, which would be the ideal solution but remains obstinately impossible, for the moment at least. But Nokia's solution is still useful as a free download to an existing device, if you want to receive text messages silently, or happen to be blind (or happen to have learnt Braille for fun). ®