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Vibro-Tactile Enrichment Improves Blind User Interaction with Mobile Touchscreens

Abstract : Interaction via mobile devices is a challenge for blind users, who often encounter severe accessibility and usability problems. The main issues are due to the lack of hardware keys, making it difficult to quickly reach an area or activate functions, and to the new way of interacting via touchscreen. A touchscreen has no specific reference points detectable by feel, so a blind user cannot easily understand exactly where (s)he is positioned on the interface nor readily find a specific item/function. Alternative ways to provide content are mainly vocal and may be inadequate in some situations, e.g., noisy environments. In this study we investigate enriching the user interfaces of touchscreen mobile devices to facilitate blind users’ orientation. We propose a possible solution for improving interaction based on the vibro-tactile channel. After introducing the idea behind our approach, two implemented Android Apps including the enriched user interfaces are shown and discussed.
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https://hal.inria.fr/hal-01497468
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Maria Buzzi, Marina Buzzi, Barbara Leporini, Maria Paratore. Vibro-Tactile Enrichment Improves Blind User Interaction with Mobile Touchscreens. 14th International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction (INTERACT), Sep 2013, Cape Town, South Africa. pp.641-648, ⟨10.1007/978-3-642-40483-2_45⟩. ⟨hal-01497468⟩

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