People who use screen readers frequently need to navigate between different elements on a screen. As the user navigates to an element, information about that element is provided in speech output. On touchscreen devices, screen reading software typically uses swiping/flicking gestures for navigation. For example, one swipes to the left to go to the next element and to the right to go to the previous element when using VoiceOver on iOS by Apple (see more details about iOS VoiceOver). The problem is that these gestures are relatively slow and fatiguing. Using buttons to control navigation may be easier, but is still relatively slow.
I recently invented and described a software technique for quickly and easily navigating a user interface on a touchscreen device. The user activates a virtual jog wheel mode and then makes arc or circular gestures on it. By just making a single circular gesture, the user can navigate through a number of elements to get to the one they want.
More details are available in the virtual jog wheel disclosure [PDF]. This invention is free for anyone to use, but those using it will still need to ensure that the technology does not infringe any other patents.
The defensive disclosure was published today in the IP.com prior art database (IP.com database entry, requires subscription for full content). The publication was reviewed and sponsored by the Linux Defenders program through the Defensive Publications web site.