Apple make iphone4 more accessible for hearing impaired & Fine Motor Difficulties

With the new release of the iPhone 4 OS allowing bluetooth keyboards to connect now I was interested to know if it would now be a viable option for me as a phone.

When I first tried an iPhone a few years back,  it only had the on-screen keyboard available in portrait mode and in qwerty so consequently the keys were tiny and i struggled to even type my name.

At that time the Blackberry Storm was the best option as it offered 3 choices of keyboard and the suretype keyboard came with built in word prediction and the ability for you to create your own abbreviations.  The iPhone OS never did this as a built in option.

However the Zentap app now offers word prediction and the ability to create abbreviations also along with the ability for it to open your email or SMS for you and paste any text in.

That makes things a little easier and they were certainly heading in the right direction but you still had a tiny keyboard for typing on.

This latest version of the OS allows you to connect to a bluetooth keyboard and there are several folding keyboards available out there.

You can connect the apple bluetooth keyboard to it also and this would work for inputting text.  However I was browsing online last night and came across this one.

this keyboard allows you to open apps from the keyboard itself

From the report it seems that this keyboard allows you to open the apps (or certain apps)  from the keyboard itself.

This is a Prototype and when this report was written in February this year,  the company were waiting for the go-ahead from Apple.

There will be way of attaching your iPhone to the keyboard which will be more compact on the finished version.

It will be interesting to know whether you can assign other apps to keys.  eg if I wanted it to open Zentap which would then send any text I composed in there to SMS,  email or clipboard  or if you could also use the navigational keys to scroll down the icons,  giving you access to everything on the screen without having to struggle trying to hit small buttons with a finger or stylus.

Watch this space 🙂

AFTERNOTE:  shortly after writing this up,  I came across another link on Facebook leading to video of two deaf people using the iPhone as video phone to sign to each other.

http://wcco.com/local/deaf.community.iphone.2.1771212.html

(video is on right of news report)

This would also be handy if you have difficulty making out what people are saying unless you can see their faces.  You can buy loops for mobiles which you wear around neck and put hearing aids on T to make the voice louder.

Bluetooth induction loop for hearing aid users

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5 thoughts on “Apple make iphone4 more accessible for hearing impaired & Fine Motor Difficulties

  1. Love the idea of using the iphone facetime as a way to sign. that is amazing!

    I bet the next version of the ipad comes with phone capabilities. have you tried the skype app Kati? that might work?

  2. Kati! Love the info and your take on how products that we all use and take for granted are making it easier for people that have certain disabilities or challenges! I came over having read Scott’s blog and have to agree that the story about the deaf people using the video functionality of the iPhone to sign is wonderful! I hope the iPhone works out for you. I love my “oldie 3” and hubby loves his new 4!

    I’m gonna go tweet a link back to you 🙂
    Shalon

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