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The Feel Factor: How Physical Keyboards Enhance Typing for the Visually Impaired

Comparison between onscreen keyboard and a physical keyboard.

A physical braille keyboard is a keyboard that allows users to input Braille characters by pressing physical keys, whereas an onscreen keyboard is a digital keyboard that appears on a screen, allowing users to input text by tapping on the screen.

Physical braille keyboards have tactile feedback, which can be beneficial for users who are blind or visually impaired, as they can feel the keys and more easily navigate the keyboard. However, physical braille keyboards can be more expensive and less portable than onscreen keyboards.

Onscreen keyboards are typically more widely available and accessible, as they can be used on any device with a screen, such as a smartphone or tablet. Onscreen keyboards can also be customised to show Braille characters, making them accessible to users who are blind or visually impaired. However, onscreen keyboards may not provide the same tactile feedback as physical keyboards, which can be challenging for users who rely on touch to input text.

Ultimately, the choice between a physical braille keyboard and an onscreen keyboard depends on the user's preferences and needs. Some users may prefer the tactile feedback of a physical keyboard, while others may find onscreen keyboards more convenient and accessible.

Sometimes, typing accurately becomes crucial. Entering passwords, sending important emails, typing out an address etc. These situations offer little leeway for error and we believe that there is no reason for someone with visual impairment to be more susceptible to typing errors. From speaking with our customers, we get the sense that the increased margin for typing errors is the reason a lot of them missed having phones with physical buttons. Adding a Hable One to their toolkit gave them the added functionality that they were missing with old school phones while staying up to date with the cool new features of a touchscreen smartphone!