HAPTIC TABLET FOR THE ACCESSIBILITY OF DIGITAL CONTENT TO THE VISUALLY IMPAIRED
Digital technologies have become pervasive in our daily lives and have fundamentally changed the ways we
communicate and interact with information and with each other. We now have access to digital content anytime, anywhere and in a palette of formats, ranging from images, videos, text, speech to virtual and augmented reality experiences. Typically, this has made smartphones, and similar mobile devices, an invaluable source of information and a mean of connection to the world and to others. Yet, by relying almost exclusively on visual and auditory feedbacks, these devices pose evident accessibility issues. While most smartphones and tablets are equipped with accessibility features like text-to-speech, Braille displays require extra peripherals which are often too expensive and too limited. As a result, the visually impaired have limited access to graphical content and complex notations.
ABILITY aims to revolutionise the situation by proposing the first multisensory tablet covering the wide range of visual disabilities and needs of the visually impaired population, including collaboration with the sighted. For that, it will provide a display equipped with multitouch surface haptics capabilities and a 2D multiline Braille display with a novel cost-effective mechanism, relying on fewer and remote actuators. The ABILITY device will provide multisensory interactions and feedback, leveraging AI algorithms for device adaptability to the users’ needs and behaviour, notably for image analysis and predictive writing. In this process, ABILITY will adopt a user-centred design approach throughout the project to collect the users’ needs and involve them in the different design and evaluation stages in an iterative way.
Provide a portable interactive multisensory device, with haptic feedback capabilities and a full page of Braille
Provide the ability to access and edit digital content, in both Braille and tactile graphics with
multisensory interactions & Enable extending the functionalities through novel user-developed applications
Provide a solution that meets the visually impaired needs and that increases their inclusion