Evaluation of Virtual Tactile Dots on Touchscreens in Map Reading: Perception of Distance and Direction
Tetsuya Watanabe*, Hirotsugu Kaga**, and Tsubasa Yagi***
*Faculty of Engineering, Niigata University
2-8050 Ikarashi, Nishi-ku, Niigata 950-2181, Japan
**Graduate School of Science and Technology, Niigata University
2-8050 Ikarashi, Nishi-ku, Niigata 950-2181, Japan
***NEC Solution Innovators, Ltd.
1-18-7 Shinkiba, Koto-ku, Tokyo 136-8627 Japan
In order to assist blind people in using a flat touchscreen, “virtual” tactile dots which feedback either of or both speech and vibration when touched have been proposed. In this paper, we investigated their effectiveness in map reading application. We conducted two experiments with eight blind participants in which participants perceived the distance and direction between two virtual tactile dots. Their results show that the perception of distance and direction by virtual tactile dots was accurate enough. However, the search time for these dots was significantly longer than that for real tactile dots. This search time issue made us conclude that the reading and vibrating tactile map is not practical.
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