IEEE Transactions on Haptics

IEEE Transactions on Haptics (ToH) has moved to the OnlinePlus publication model starting with 2014 issues! IEEE Transactions on Haptics (ToH) is a quarterly journal that publishes archival research results related to the science, technology and applications associated with information acquisition and object manipulation through touch.

From the July-September 2015 issue

Refreshing Refreshable Braille Displays

By Alexander Russomanno, Sile O’Modhrain, R. Brent Gillespie, and Matthew W. M. Rodger

Free Featured ArticleThe increased access to books afforded to blind people via e-publishing has given them long-sought independence for both recreational and educational reading. In most cases, blind readers access materials using speech output. For some content such as highly technical texts, music, and graphics, speech is not an appropriate access modality as it does not promote deep understanding. Therefore blind braille readers often prefer electronic braille displays. But, these are prohibitively expensive. The search is on, therefore, for a low-cost refreshable display that would go beyond current technologies and deliver graphical content as well as text. And many solutions have been proposed, some of which reduce costs by restricting the number of characters that can be displayed, even down to a single braille cell. In this paper, we demonstrate that restricting tactile cues during braille reading leads to poorer performance in a letter recognition task. In particular, we show that lack of sliding contact between the fingertip and the braille reading surface results in more errors and that the number of errors increases as a function of presentation speed. These findings suggest that single cell displays which do not incorporate sliding contact are likely to be less effective for braille reading.

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ToH is a joint publication of the IEEE Computer Society, IEEE Robotics and Automation Society and the IEEE Consumer Electronics Society.

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