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Haptic Gloves Prototype for Audio-Tactile Web Browsing

Andrii Soviak

The 17th International ACM SIGACCESS Conference on Computers and Accessibility - Student Research Competition (ASSETS-SRC 2015)
Lisbon, Portugal, October 26-28, 2015


Blind people rely on screen readers to interact with the Web. Since screen readers narrate the digital content serially, blind users can only form a one-dimensional mental model of the web page and, hence, cannot enjoy the benefits inherently offered by the 2-D layout; e.g., understanding the spatial relations between objects in a webpage or their locations on the screen helps navigate webpages. Haptic interfaces could provide blind people with a tactile “feel” for the 2-D layout and help them navigate web pages more efficiently. Haptic Displays, capable of high resolution tactile feedback, could render any webpage in a tactile form enabling blind people to exploit the aforementioned spatial relations and focus screen reading on specific parts of the webpage. In this paper, I report on the preliminary work toward the development of FeelX – a haptic gloves system that will enable tactile web browsing. FeelX will be used alongside regular screen readers, and will provide blind screen-reader users with the ability explore web pages by touch and audio.

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