Design and Evaluation of 3D Multimodal Virtual Environments for Visually Impaired People
2010 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Spatial information presented visually is not easily accessible to visually impairedusers. Current technologies, such as screen readers, cannot intuitively conveyspatial layout or structure. This lack of overview is an obstacle for a visuallyimpaired user, both when using the computer individually and when collaboratingwith other users. With the development of haptic and audio technologies, it ispossible to let visually impaired users access to three-dimensional (3D) VirtualReality (VR) environments through the senses of touch and hearing.The work presented in this thesis comprises investigations of haptic and audiointeraction for visually impaired computer users in two stages.The first stage of my research focused on collaborations between sighted andblind-folded computer users in a shared virtual environment. One aspect Iconsidered is how different modalities affect one’s awareness of the other’sactions, as well as of one’s own actions, during the work process. The secondaspect I investigated is common ground, i.e. how visually impaired people obtaina common understanding of the elements of their workspace through differentmodalities. A third aspect I looked at was how different modalities affectperceived social presence, i.e. their ability to perceive the other person’sintentions and emotions. Finally, I attempted to understand how human behaviorand efficiency in task performance are affected when different modalities are usedin collaborative situations.The second stage of my research focused on how the visually impaired access3D multimodal virtual environment individually. I conducted two studies basedon two different haptic and audio prototypes concerning understanding the effectof haptic-audio modalities on navigation and interface design. One prototype thatI created was a haptic and audio game, a labyrinth. The other is a virtualsimulation environment based on the real world of Kulturhuset in Stockholm. Oneaspect I investigated in this individual interaction is how it is possible for users toaccess the spatial layout through a multimodal virtual environment. The secondaspect I investigated is usability; how the haptic and audio cues help visuallyimpaired people understand the spatial layout. The third aspect concernsnavigation and cognitive mapping in a multimodal virtual environment.This thesis contributes to the field of human-computer interaction for thevisually impaired with a set of studies of multimodal interactive systems, andbrings new perspectives to the enhancement of understanding real environmentsfor visually impaired users through a haptic and audio virtual computerenvironment.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH , 2010. , 82 p.
Trita-CSC-A, ISSN 1653-5723 ; 2010:09
Multimodal interaction, 3D worlds, Haptics, Audio, Visually impaired users, Collaboration, Navigation
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-13140ISBN: 978-91-7415-683-6OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-13140DiVA: diva2:321168
2010-06-10, F3, Lindstedtsvägen 26, KTH, Stockholm, 10:15 (English)
Magnusson, Charlotte, Docent
Sundblad, Yngve, ProfessorSallnäs, Eva-Lotta, Bitr lektor
List of papers