Tactile Display System with the Input Stylus for Blind Users
Electronic Tactile Drawing System
People who are blind can make tactile drawings with raised line drawing kits. However, raised lines once drawn on the plastic paper of the kit are not erasable, whereas sighted persons can erase unwanted lines with an eraser. This problem of indelibility could be solved by using refreshable tactile displays. One technical challenge in using them is how to measure the location of the stylus point above the tactile display device. Our solution to this is connecting the drawing stylus and the display device with a two-axis arm that outputs angular positions. With this system setup, users can move the stylus above the tactile surface so as to freely draw and erase tactile drawings.
The main advantage of the system is that blind persons themselves can create graphics with tactile feedback. In combination with information communication technologies, blind users who are apart from each other can make conversation utilizing graphical information, which would make, for example, explanation of route maps more effective. For teachers, making and presenting tactile teaching materials would be much easier.
This work is in progress in collaboration with Dr. Makoto Kobayashi, Tsukuba University of Technology .
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Proceedings of Fourth International Conference on Multimedia and Information and Communication Technologies in Education, Sevilla, Spain, November 2006.
- Makoto Kobayashi and Tetsuya Watanabe, Multimedia Communication System for the Blind, in Intelligent Paradigms for Assistive and Preventive Healthcare, N. Ichalkaranje, A. Ichalkaranje, L.C. Jain (Ed.), pp. 165 - 181, Springer Berlin / Heidelberg, 2006.
- Tetsuya Watanabe, Makoto Kobayashi, Shoichiro Ono, Norio Endo and Keiko Yokoyama, Practical use of the interactive tactile display system at a school for the blind, Tactile Graphics Conference 2005, Birmingham, UK, December 2005.
- Makoto Kobayashi and Tetsuya Watanabe, Communication system for the blind using tactile displays and ultrasonic pens -MIMIZU-, ICCHP 2004, Paris, France, July, 2004.
- Tetsuya Watanabe and Makoto Kobayashi, An interactive tactile display for blind children --- Evaluation at a school for the blind ---, The 23rd Asia-Pacific International Seminar on Special Education, pp.45-48, October 2003.
- Makoto Kobayashi and Tetsuya Watanabe, Tactile display equipped with pen input device -MIMIZU-, ICCHP 2002, Lecture Notes in Computer Science 2398, pp527-534, Linz, Austria, July, 2002.
- Tetsuya Watanabe and Makoto Kobayashi, A prototype of the freely rewritable tactile drawing system for blind persons, The Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness Vol.96, No.6, pp.460-464, June 2002.
Tactile Sense and Blind Persons