The HapBack: Evaluation of Absolute and Relative Distance Encoding to Enhance Spatial Awareness in a Wearable Tactile Device

Bryan Duarte, Troy McDaniel, Ramin Tadayon, Abhik Chowdhury, Allison Low, Sethuraman Panchanathan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

For the significant global population of individuals who are blind or visually impaired, spatial awareness during navigation remains a challenge. Tactile Electronic Travel Aids have been designed to assist with the provision of spatiotemporal information, but an intuitive method for mapping this information to patterns on a vibrotactile display remains to be determined. This paper explores the encoding of distance from a navigator to an object using two strategies: absolute and relative. A wearable prototype, the HapBack, is presented with two straps of vertically aligned vibrotactile motors mapped to five distances, with each distance mapped to a row on the display. Absolute patterns emit a single vibration at the row corresponding to a distance, while relative patterns emit a sequence of vibrations starting from the bottom row and ending at the row mapped to that distance. These two encoding strategies are comparatively evaluated for identification accuracy and perceived intuitiveness of mapping among ten adult participants who are blind or visually impaired. No significant difference was found between the intuitiveness of the two encodings based on these metrics, with each showing promising results for application during navigation tasks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHCI International 2020 – Late Breaking Papers
Subtitle of host publicationUniversal Access and Inclusive Design - 22nd HCI International Conference, HCII 2020, Proceedings
EditorsConstantine Stephanidis, Margherita Antona, Qin Gao, Jia Zhou
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media Deutschland GmbH
Pages251-266
Number of pages16
ISBN (Print)9783030601485
DOIs
StatePublished - 2020
Event22nd International Conference on Human Computer Interaction, HCII 2020 - Copenhagen, Denmark
Duration: Jul 19 2020Jul 24 2020

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume12426 LNCS
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349

Conference

Conference22nd International Conference on Human Computer Interaction, HCII 2020
CountryDenmark
CityCopenhagen
Period7/19/207/24/20

Keywords

  • Nonvisual navigation
  • Spatial awareness
  • Wearable tactile display

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Computer Science(all)

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