Evaluating touch-screen vibration modality for blind users to access simple shapes and graphics

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dc.contributor.author Tekli, Joe
dc.contributor.author Bou issa, Youssef
dc.contributor.author Chbeir, Richard
dc.date.accessioned 2019-08-29T12:40:45Z
dc.date.available 2019-08-29T12:40:45Z
dc.date.copyright 2018 en_US
dc.date.issued 2019-08-29
dc.identifier.issn 1071-5819 en_US
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10725/11254
dc.description.abstract Accessing visual information becomes a central need for all kinds of tasks and users (from accessing graphics and charts in news articles, to viewing images of items on sale on e-commerce sites), especially for blind users. In this context, digital tools of assistance, using adapted software (screen readers, talking browsers, etc.), hardware (force feedback mouse, piezo-electric pins, etc.), and more recently touch-screen technology (using smart phones or smart tablets) have been increasingly helping blind persons access and manipulate information. While effective with textual information, yet existing solutions remain limited when handling visual information. In this context, the goal of our study is to shed light on how the vibration modality can be perceived by blind users when accessing simple contour-based images and visual graphics on a touch-screen. In this paper, we target the vibration-only modality, compared with audio-kinesthetic or multimodal vibro-audio solutions. Our main motivation is that the potentials and limitations of touch-screen vibration-only feedback need to be fully studied and understood prior to integrating other modalities (such as sound, human speech, or other forms of haptic feedback). This could prove very useful in a range of applications: allowing blind people to access geographic maps, to navigate autonomously inside and outside buildings, as well as to access graphs and mathematical charts (for blind students). To achieve our goal, we develop a dedicated experimental protocol, titled EVIAC, testing a blind user's capacity in learning, distinguishing, identifying, and recognizing basic shapes and geometric objects presented on a vibrating touch-screen. Extensive tests were conducted on blindfolded and blind candidates, using a battery of evaluation metrics including: i) accuracy of shape recognition, ii) testers’ average response time, iii) number and duration of finger strokes, iv) surface area covered by the testers’ finger path trails, as well as iv) finger path correlation with the surface of the target shape. Results show that blind users are generally capable of accessing simple shapes and graphics presented on a vibrating touch-screen. However, results also underline various issues, ranging over: prolonged response time (e.g., blind users require 1 min and 22 s on average to recognize a basic shape), reduced touch-screen surface coverage, and low correlation between the surface of the target shape and the tester's vibration trails. The latter issues need to be further investigated to produce optimal recipes for using touch-screen technology to support image accessibility for blind users. en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.title Evaluating touch-screen vibration modality for blind users to access simple shapes and graphics en_US
dc.type Article en_US
dc.description.version Published en_US
dc.author.school SOE en_US
dc.author.idnumber 201306321 en_US
dc.author.department Electrical And Computer Engineering en_US
dc.description.embargo N/A en_US
dc.relation.journal International Journal of Human-Computer Studies en_US
dc.journal.volume 110 en_US
dc.article.pages 115-133 en_US
dc.keywords Blind users en_US
dc.keywords Data and image accessibility en_US
dc.keywords Tactile image en_US
dc.keywords Vibrating touch-screen en_US
dc.keywords Paper embossing en_US
dc.keywords Empirical study en_US
dc.keywords Experimental evaluation protocol en_US
dc.identifier.doi https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijhcs.2017.10.009 en_US
dc.identifier.ctation Tekli, J., Issa, Y. B., & Chbeir, R. (2018). Evaluating touch-screen vibration modality for blind users to access simple shapes and graphics. International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, 110, 115-133. en_US
dc.author.email joe.tekli@lau.edu.lb en_US
dc.identifier.tou http://libraries.lau.edu.lb/research/laur/terms-of-use/articles.php en_US
dc.identifier.url https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1071581917301477#keys0001 en_US
dc.author.affiliation Lebanese American University en_US

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