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Computer graphics access for blind people through a haptic and audio virtual environment

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7 Author(s)

This work describes a new haptic & audio virtual environment to allow visually impaired people to have access to the three-dimensional graphic computer world through the sense of touch (using a new dual-finger haptic interface) and augmented by audio output and voice commands. Such system has been developed within the European project "GRAB ". The new system provides an integrated platform for the design and development of audio-haptic applications in different fields (architecture, art, aeronautics, medicine,..). In order to demonstrate the validity of the approach, the project was specifically focused on the development of three applications for visual impaired people: an adventure game, a city map explorer and a chart explorer. Both the new environment and the applications were tested by visually impaired people with different profiles (congenitally blind, advantageously blind, partially sighted,..) to evaluate the usefulness and potential of these developments. The results of this validation confirm the validity of the system. Overall, it seems the GRAB system is feasible for these kinds of applications, although some features require some adjustments to create future usable tools.

Published in:

Haptic, Audio and Visual Environments and Their Applications, 2004. HAVE 2004. Proceedings. The 3rd IEEE International Workshop on

Date of Conference:

2-3 Oct. 2004