The Haptic Chair, a research endeavor by CUbiC to improve social experiences for individuals with visual impairments, was recently featured in an article by Christina Couch on social interactions for individuals with disabilities on PBS’s webpage. In this article, software engineering student Bryan Duarte, a user of the haptic chair who is blind, remarks on the benefits of gaining information on the facial expressions of one’s conversation partner during an interaction. The haptic chair features an array of vibrotactile motors along its back; when sitting on the chair; an individual who is blind can connect the device to a camera to receive real-time vibrotactile patterns representing some of the common facial expressions shown by others sitting across the table. These patterns provide the nonverbal information necessary for a rich and rewarding social experience, and are a part of CUbiC’s extensive and ongoing research in haptics. Assistant research professor and CUbiC associate director Troy McDaniel is featured in the article as one of the project’s primary contributors. Bryan plans to work with McDaniel and CUbiC on developing a wearable version of the haptic feedback system for nonverbal cues. You can read the full article on PBS’s webpage:
The Center for Cognitive Ubiquitous Computing at Arizona State University is an inter-disciplinary research center focused on cutting edge research targeting a variety of applications.
What We Do
Most ubiquitous computing research takes a technology-centric view in solving real world problems. It is our belief that a balanced technology and problem-centric view is required in tackling challenging application domains. We also believe that by targeting applications that require ubiquitous computing solutions, in contrast to applications with a ubiquitous computing flavor, brings out the underlying challenges that need to be addressed. In keeping with this spirit, we have chosen to serve the needs of physically challenged individuals by empowering them with ubiquitous and pervasive computing technologies to enrich their lives. Motivated by this approach, we have assembled focus groups of blind and deaf individuals and researchers involved in disability studies and mobility instructors to bring out the real needs in this application. These inputs have served to shape our research agenda in the various facets of ubiquitous computing.