Vanderbilt Touch App Aims to Help Visually Impaired StudentsBy Schaffhauser, Dian; T.H.E. Journal (Technology Horizons in Education),
Publication Date: March 7, 2012
Article features an application for tablet computers that uses sound in combination with haptics technology to help blind high school students to recognize math shapes on a tablet. Haptic technology provides touch feedback through motion such as vibrations. Designed by a graduate student in Vanderbilt University’s Initiative in Surgery and Engineering, the app implemented on an Android tablet is programmed to vibrate or generate a specific tone when a student touches a line, curve, or shape on the touchscreen. For example, in an exercise with an X-Y axis, the horizontal and vertical lines vibrate at different frequencies, while points make a certain tone, allowing users to tell the difference between gridlines and points on the grid. The Android app includes a sketching program that allows the student to draw a shape and then adapt it as needed to work in real time and follow it with his or her finger. The article includes the link to a video showing blind students interacting with the app and discussing its possible uses, from laying out a tactile periodic table of elements to playing video games. The app, which at the time of the article’s publication was in the design phase, was developed with funding from the National Science Foundation.
Published by: 101communications (Website:http://www.101com.com)
T.H.E. Institute (Web Site: http://institute.thejournal.com )
Link to text: http://thejournal.com/articles/2012/03/07/vanderbilt-touch-app-aims-to-help-visually-impaired-students.aspx
Link to video: http://news.vanderbilt.edu/2012/03/haptic-tablet/