Tuesday, April 7, 2009

A Tactile Web Browser for the Visually Disabled

Unintentionally, I’ve been writing a series of posts about touch screens and blind people :-) Previous posts introduced two methods to help the vision-impaired to use touch screens: vibration and multimodal interaction schemes. Today I’ve found another method in my paper labyrinth. Researchers at Visualization and Interactive Systems Institute presented a web browser combined with a specially designed tactile graphics display.


Tactile graphics display with a resolution of 120x60 pins displaying an image


With their method, texts of web pages are transformed into Braille characters and graphic images are directly copied onto the tactile display as shown in the figure below


First tactile page including text and photo (simulation on the left and magnified area on the right)


[1] M. Rotard, S. Kn?dler, and T. Ertl, “A tactile web browser for the visually disabled,” Proceedings of the sixteenth ACM conference on Hypertext and hypermedia, ACM New York, NY, USA, 2005, pp. 15-22. [PDF]

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