Actually, she only wanted to be able to write WhatsApp messages secretly in class – but this thought inspired a 17-year-old to an even better idea.

She made the invention when she was just 17 years old: Emma Schiller, a high school graduate from near Oldenburg, presented a great project at the Ideas Expo in Hanover: she developed gloves that blind people can use to enter text into smartphones , without having to rely on voice input. She christened her invention “Wings” – short for Wireless Input Gloves.

“Even before Corona, Emma presented the ‘Wings’ prototype at the ‘Jugend forscht’ regional competition in Emden 2020 and won it brilliantly,” said Rainer Lüllmann, Emma’s teacher at the BZTG Oldenburg at the time Canceled in 2020 due to Corona.” So it was to be a while before the clever inventor was able to give her idea the well-deserved big appearance. But now, at the Ideas Expo at the Hanover Exhibition Center, it worked.

Operate the mobile phone with finger movements

But how did Emma come to develop the helpful gloves in the first place? The answer surprised: she had received a WhatsApp message in class, but could not secretly respond to it during the lesson. “Unfortunately, the teacher was very attentive and I thought how cool would it be if I could just answer like that behind my back,” she told RTL. That’s how the idea for the gloves came to her, but she immediately thought one step further – such an invention would certainly be nice for bored students, but it would be really useful for blind people.

She decided to base her gloved entry aid on Braille, “because the only option for blind people is to type messages with either a keyboard or voice-to-text recording. If you want to type a password , that’s not possible – you can’t say your password out loud and publicly,” says Emma Schiller. She assigned each Braille letter a finger combination where the respective fingertips touch. Sensors recognize the sign and transmit it to the smartphone via Bluetooth.

By the way: Up to now, blind smartphone users have not been left to fend for themselves. Smartphones like the iPhone have a special keyboard that users can operate with two hands.

The gloves should go on sale

Emma has meanwhile successfully completed her A-levels, and now she wants to continue working on her invention until it is ready for the market at some point. Then she hopes that there will actually be many interested buyers. In any case, the “Wings” gloves were very well received by the testers at the Ideas Expo.

Sources: RTL, BZTG Oldenburg