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Vibro-tactile enrichment improves blind user interaction with mobile touchscreens

Buzzi M. C., Buzzi M., Leporini B., Paratore M. T.

Mobile accessibility  blind  Accessibility  Blind users  [ INFO ] Computer Science [cs]  Haptic UIs  Usability 

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.

Source: HUMAN-COMPUTER INTERACTION - INTERACT 2013, PT I, edited by Kotze, P; Marsden, G; Lindgaard, G; Wesson, J; Winckler, M, pp. 641–648, 2013

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BibTeX entry
	title = {Vibro-tactile enrichment improves blind user interaction with mobile touchscreens},
	author = {Buzzi M.  C. and Buzzi M. and Leporini B. and Paratore M.  T.},
	doi = {10.1007/978-3-642-40483-2_45},
	booktitle = {HUMAN-COMPUTER INTERACTION - INTERACT 2013, PT I, edited by Kotze, P; Marsden, G; Lindgaard, G; Wesson, J; Winckler, M, pp. 641–648, 2013},
	year = {2013}