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Tangible Reels: Construction and Exploration of Tangible Maps by Visually Impaired Users

Ducasse, Julie and Macé, Marc and Serrano, Marcos and Jouffrais, Christophe Tangible Reels: Construction and Exploration of Tangible Maps by Visually Impaired Users. (2016) In: SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 2016), 7 May 2016 - 12 May 2016 (San Jose, CA, United States).

(Document in English)

PDF (Author's version) - Requires a PDF viewer such as GSview, Xpdf or Adobe Acrobat Reader

Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/2858036.2858058


Maps are essential in everyday life, but inherently not accessible to visually impaired users. They must be transcribed to non-editable tactile graphics, or rendered on very expensive shape changing displays. To tackle these issues, we developed a tangible tabletop interface that enables visually impaired users to build tangible maps on their own, using a new type of physical icon called Tangible Reels. Tangible Reels are composed of a sucker pad that ensures stability, with a retractable reel that renders digital lines tangible. In order to construct a map, audio instructions guide the user to precisely place Tangible Reels onto the table and create links between them. During subsequent exploration, the device provides the names of the points and lines that the user touches. A pre-study confirmed that Tangible Reels are stable and easy to manipulate, and that visually impaired users can understand maps that are built with them. A follow-up experiment validated that the designed system, including non-visual interactions, enable visually impaired participants to quickly build and explore maps of various complexities.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Additional Information:Thanks to Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) editor. The definitive version is available at http://dl.acm.org This papers appears in CHI '16 The original PDF is available at: http://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=2858058
Audience (conference):International conference proceedings
Uncontrolled Keywords:
Institution:Université de Toulouse > Institut National Polytechnique de Toulouse - Toulouse INP (FRANCE)
French research institutions > Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - CNRS (FRANCE)
Université de Toulouse > Université Toulouse III - Paul Sabatier - UT3 (FRANCE)
Université de Toulouse > Université Toulouse - Jean Jaurès - UT2J (FRANCE)
Université de Toulouse > Université Toulouse 1 Capitole - UT1 (FRANCE)
Laboratory name:
Deposited On:22 Jun 2017 12:54

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