Creating Usable Pin Array Tactons for Non-Visual Information

Abstract : Spatial information can be difficult to present to a visually impaired computer user. In this paper we examine a new kind of tactile cueing for non-visual interaction as a potential solution, building on earlier work on vibrotactile Tactons. However, unlike vibrotactile Tactons, we use a pin array to stimulate the finger tip. Here, we describe how to design static and dynamic Tactons by defining their basic components. We then present user tests examining how easy it is to distinguish between different forms of pin array Tactons demonstrating accurate Tacton sets to represent directions. These experiments demonstrate usable patterns for static, wave and blinking pin array Tacton sets for guiding a user in one of eight directions. A study is then described that shows the benefits of structuring Tactons to convey information through multiple parameters of the signal. By using multiple independent parameters for a Tacton, this study demonstrates participants perceive more information through a single Tacton. Two applications using these Tactons are then presented: a maze exploration application and an electric circuit exploration application designed for use by and tested with visually impaired users.
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Thomas Pietrzak, Andrew Crossan, Stephen Brewster, Benoît Martin, Isabelle Pecci. Creating Usable Pin Array Tactons for Non-Visual Information. IEEE Transactions on Haptics (ToH), IEEE, 2009, 2 (2), pp.61-72. ⟨http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpls/abs_all.jsp?arnumber=4815237⟩. ⟨10.1109/TOH.2009.6⟩. ⟨hal-00671354⟩

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