Source:International Conference on Human-Computer Interfaces, Las Vegas, NV (2005)
Haptic interfaces allow generation of vibratory and force feedback to the user. These tactile sensations can be programmed to communicate information about occurrence of certain events. Such systems are known as haptic cueing systems. Haptic cueing is analogous to the audio-visual messaging system used in conventional graphical user interfaces where user’s attention is diverted to certain event or region of the display through audio-visual cues. It presents a simple yet effective messaging approach. In this paper, we present a novel approach for communicating spatial information through tactile sensations. We have developed a haptic system that incorporates cueing and conveys information about shape, weight, texture, and material of the object through user-determined cues. Psychophysical experiments were conducted to design and test our system. We worked with blind individual whose task was to recognize an object’s features based on a personalized cueing vocabulary. We obtained 100% recognition accuracy on a set of 50 objects ranging from nonsense objects to everyday objects. Initial results from our experiments suggest that a haptic cueing mechanism has the potential to serve as a powerful haptic communication strategy to convey spatial information.