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Methods for Presenting Braille Characters on a Mobile Device with a Touchscreen and Tactile Feedback
January-March 2009 (vol. 2 no. 1)
pp. 28-39
Jussi Rantala, University of Tampere, Finland
Roope Raisamo, University of Tampere, Finland
Jani Lylykangas, University of Tampere, Finland
Veikko Surakka, University of Tampere, Finland
Jukka Raisamo, University of Tampere, Finland
Katri Salminen, University of Tampere, Finland
Toni Pakkanen, University of Tampere, Finland
Arto Hippula, University of Tampere, Finland
Three novel interaction methods were designed for reading six-dot Braille characters from the touchscreen of a mobile device. A prototype device with a piezoelectric actuator embedded under the touchscreen was used to create tactile feedback. The three interaction methods, scan, sweep, and rhythm, enabled users to read Braille characters one at a time either by exploring the characters dot by dot or by sensing a rhythmic pattern presented on the screen. The methods were tested with five blind Braille readers as a proof of concept. The results of the first experiment showed that all three methods can be used to convey information as the participants could accurately (91—97%) recognize individual characters. In the second experiment the presentation rate of the most efficient and preferred method, the rhythm, was varied. A mean recognition accuracy of 70% was found when the speed of presenting a single character was nearly doubled from the first experiment. The results showed that temporal tactile feedback and Braille coding can be used to transmit single-character information while further studies are still needed to evaluate the presentation of serial information, i.e., multiple Braille characters.

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Index Terms:
Human-computer interaction, Integrating touch-based interactions into various domains Assistive technology, Tactile display, Hardware and software that enable touch-based interactions with real, remote, and virtual enviro, Haptic I/O, Interaction styles, Tactile devices
Jussi Rantala, Roope Raisamo, Jani Lylykangas, Veikko Surakka, Jukka Raisamo, Katri Salminen, Toni Pakkanen, Arto Hippula, "Methods for Presenting Braille Characters on a Mobile Device with a Touchscreen and Tactile Feedback," IEEE Transactions on Haptics, vol. 2, no. 1, pp. 28-39, Jan.-March 2009, doi:10.1109/TOH.2009.3
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