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Haptic cues as a utility to perceive and recognise geometry

Haptic cues as a utility to perceive and recognise geometry

Title: Haptic cues as a utility to perceive and recognise geometry
Author: Shimomura, Yayoi
Hvannberg, Ebba Thora   orcid.org/0000-0002-8041-5542
Hafsteinsson, Hjálmtýr
Date: 2012-03-17
Language: English
Scope: 125-142
University/Institute: Háskóli Íslands
University of Iceland
School: Verkfræði- og náttúruvísindasvið (HÍ)
School of Engineering and Natural Sciences (UI)
Department: Iðnaðarverkfræði-, vélaverkfræði- og tölvunarfræðideild (HÍ)
Faculty of Industrial Eng., Mechanical Eng. and Computer Science (UI)
Series: Universal Access in the Information Society;12(2)
ISSN: 1615-5289
1615-5297 (eISSN)
DOI: 10.1007/s10209-012-0271-2
Subject: Human-Computer Interaction; Computer Networks and Communications; Software; Information Systems; Haptic; Geometry; Error taxonomy; Guidelines; Upplýsingatækni; Upplýsingakerfi; Tölvusamskipti; Hugbúnaður
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11815/955

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Shimomura, Y., Hvannberg, E. T., & Hafsteinsson, H. (2013). Haptic cues as a utility to perceive and recognise geometry. Universal Access in the Information Society, 12(2), 125-142.


Research has been conducted on how to aid blind peoples’ perceptions and cognition of scientific data and, specifically, on how to strengthen their background in mathematics as a means of accomplishing this goal. In search of alternate modes to vision, researchers and practitioners have studied the opportunities of haptics alone and in combination with other modes, such as audio. What is already known, and has motivated research in this area, is that touch and vision might form a common brain representation that is shared between the visual and haptic modalities and through haptics learning is active rather than passive. In spite of extensive research on haptics in the areas of psychology and neuropsychology, recent advances and rare experiences in using haptic technology have not caused a transfer from basic knowledge in the area of haptics to learning applications and practical guidelines on how to develop such applications. Thus motivated, this study investigates different haptic effects, such as free space, magnetic effects and the bounded box when blind people are given the task of recognising and manipulating classes of 3D objects with which they have varying familiarity. In parallel, this study investigates the applicability of Sjöström’s guidelines on haptic applications development and uses his problem classification to capture knowledge from the experiments. The results of this study show that users can easily recognise and manipulate familiar objects, albeit with some assistance. There is an indication that users completed tasks faster and needed less assistance with magnetic effects. However, they were not as satisfied with this mode. While the results of this study show that haptics have the potential to allow students to conceptualise 3D objects, much more work is needed to exploit this technology to the fullest. Objects with higher complexity are difficult for students, and, in their opinion, the virtual objects (as presented) leave much room for improvement. Sjöström’s error taxonomy proved useful, and four of five sub-guidelines tested were confirmed to be useful in this study.


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