I hadn't given it much thought, but the newer touchscreen devices - iPhone, gPhone, Touch, Storm (etc, etc) are a problem for people with impaired vision (and completely unusable for the blind). There's just no feedback at all as to where you are on the device. Google has a response to that:
The system works by mimicking the traditional phone keypad, with the number five in the center and the other numbers arrayed around it. But since the screen has no physical keys, the software pops up the keypad wherever the user touches it. Wherever the finger makes contact becomes a five; slide the finger upwards and release, and it's a two; slide it downwards, it's an eight, etc. The user can enter a whole phone number by tapping, sliding, and releasing, all without having to look at the screen, since wherever the user taps becomes the keypad
That's a neat idea, but I think it's of limited utility for the impaired. Why? If you have vision problems, you're highly unlikely to be in the market for a touch screen device; you'll be looking for something with good tactile response. The whole accelerometer thing is lost on the vision impaired as well - ultimately, I just don't see the blind, or the nearly blind, being able to really make full use of one of these things. So yeah, it's a nifty answer - but not that useful for the blind. For the person using one of these in a place where looking at the device isn't a good idea though (like while driving)? Very interesting.
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