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Exploration of interface usability in a haptic 3D virtual labyrinth for visually impaired users
KTH, School of Computer Science and Communication (CSC), Human - Computer Interaction, MDI.
2009 (English)In: The proceeding of IADIS Interfaces and Human Computer Interaction, 2009Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

In this paper, an experimental study is presented on navigation in a 3D virtual environment by blind and visually impaired people with haptic and audio interaction. A simple 3D labyrinth is developed with haptic and audio interfaces to allow blind and visually impaired persons to access a three-dimensional Virtual Reality scene through senses of touch and hearing. The user must move from inside of the labyrinth to find an exit. Objects with different shapes can be found inside the labyrinth with walls around them. Different navigation tools were designed in order to assist their spatial orientation and mobility with haptic and audio cues. The result of the experimental study with qualitative analysis is an investigation on the accessibility and usability for blind and visually impaired people to play online 3D virtual reality games like Second Life in a haptic and audio virtual environment. This description can later serve as an input to innovative presentations on cognitive mapping, orientation and navigation of spatial structures using haptic and auditory displays.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009.
National Category
Computer Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-13907OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-13907DiVA: diva2:328076
Note
QC20100701Available from: 2010-07-01 Created: 2010-07-01 Last updated: 2010-07-01Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Design and Evaluation of 3D Multimodal Virtual Environments for Visually Impaired People
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Design and Evaluation of 3D Multimodal Virtual Environments for Visually Impaired People
2010 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

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.
Series
Trita-CSC-A, ISSN 1653-5723 ; 2010:09
Keyword
Multimodal interaction, 3D worlds, Haptics, Audio, Visually impaired users, Collaboration, Navigation
National Category
Computer Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-13140 (URN)978-91-7415-683-6 (ISBN)
Public defence
2010-06-10, F3, Lindstedtsvägen 26, KTH, Stockholm, 10:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note
QC20100701Available from: 2010-05-31 Created: 2010-05-29 Last updated: 2010-07-01Bibliographically approved

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