Google is adding morse code input to its mobile keyboard. It’ll be available as a beta on Android later today. The company announced that new feature at Google I/O after showing a video of Tania Finlayson.
Finlayson has been having a hard time communicating with other people due to her condition. She found a great way to write sentences and talk with people using Morse code.
Her husband developed a custom device that analyzes her head movements and transcodes them into Morse code. When she triggers the left button, it adds a short signal, while the right button triggers a long signal. Her device then converts the text into speech.
Google’s implementation will replace the keyboard with two areas for short and long signals. There are multiple word suggestions above the keyboard just like on the normal keyboard. The company has also created a Morse poster so that you can learn Morse code more easily.
As with all accessibility features, the more input methods the better. Everything that makes technology more accessible is a good thing.
Of course, Google used its gigantic I/O conference to introduce this feature to make the company look good too. But it’s a fine trade-off, a win-win for both Google and users who can’t use a traditional keyboard.
Correction: A previous version of this article said that Morse code is available on iOS and Android. The beta is only available on Android.