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Creating Usable Pin Array Tactons for Nonvisual Information

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5 Author(s)

Spatial information can be difficult to present to a visually impaired computer user. In this paper, we examine a new kind of tactile cuing for nonvisual interaction as a potential solution, building on earlier work on vibrotactile Tactons. However, unlike vibrotactile Tactons, we use a pin array to stimulate the finger tip. Here, we describe how to design static and dynamic Tactons by defining their basic components. We then present user tests examining how easy it is to distinguish between different forms of pin array Tactons demonstrating accurate Tacton sets to represent directions. These experiments demonstrate usable patterns for static, wave, and blinking pin array Tacton sets for guiding a user in one of eight directions. A study is then described that shows the benefits of structuring Tactons to convey information through multiple parameters of the signal. By using multiple independent parameters for a Tacton, this study demonstrates that participants perceive more information through a single Tacton. Two applications using these Tactons are then presented: a maze exploration application and an electric circuit exploration application designed for use by and tested with visually impaired users.

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Haptics, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:2 ,  Issue: 2 )