RIM files patent to develop a BlackBerry for the Visually Impaired

Research In Motion have filed a patent application with the USPTO called “MULTI-TAP KEYBOARD USER INTERFACE”.

Reading over the description it states that this provides “a multi-tap keyboard user interface with auditory feedback. In one embodiment, there is provided a method for controlling operation of a mobile device having a plurality of input devices…It is desired to have a way to perform simple user keyboard operations without requiring direct visual confirmation of what key is being pressed. Such a user interface may be useful to assist visually impaired users to use the devices lending accessibility to such devices.”

Specifically in Canada the carriers are mandated by the CRTC to provide at lease one device in their lineup that serve the needs of people who are visually impaired. So if this BlackBerry ever comes to light it would be a great addition to any carriers lineup and truly benefit those in need.

In the patent application they have also given an example of how to access 411:

[0053]Press action button 318: hear `enter a number`,
[0054]Press confirm button 316: accept choice,
[0055]Press input region 312 once: input a `4`,
[0056]Press action button 318 once to skip to next position,
[0057]Press input region 308 once: input a `1`,
[0058]Press action button 318 once: skip to next position,
[0059]Press input region 308 once: input a `1`,
[0060]Press action button 318 twice: hear `dial the number`,
[0061]Press confirm button 316: accept choice.
[0062]With each input, the multi-tap user interface adapting mobile device 202 responds with auditory feedback.
[0063]When the user presses the input regions, confirm and action button inputs described above, the user hears `dial number`, `4`, `next`, `1`, `next`, `1` and `dialing number`. Other actions that may be supported at various steps in the operations described above may include `erase number`, `cancel`, `start again`, `clear entry`, `enter voice mail`, `store number` and `dial stored number` in response to presses of the action and/or confirm buttons 318, 316. If the user accidentally presses the confirm button it may be pressed again to terminate the dialing sequence. Cancel input 320 may also be used.

Source: USPTO
Via: Go Rumours