A Virtual Haptic Platform to Assist Seeing Impaired Learning: Proof of Concept

By Yaser Dhaher and Robert Clements

Preferred Citation

Dhaher, Y., & Clements, R. (2017). A Virtual Haptic Platform to Assist Seeing Impaired Learning: Proof of Concept. Journal of Blindness Innovation and Research, 7(2). Retrieved from https://nfb.org/images/nfb/publications/jbir/jbir17/jbir070204.html. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.5241/7-123


This project is designed to remove the boundaries and enhance the ability of teachers to engage visually impaired learners by providing tools to help visualize virtual spatial concepts via the use of touch. Studies indicate that the ability to touch a virtual representation of a digital object affords a similar effect on blind people as a diagram on people with sight. Here we present a proof of concept and an inexpensive haptic platform in the form of a tactile display using vibration motors for tactile feedback to provide users the ability to touch virtual objects. The platform is cost effective, simple to use via a browser-based interface, and provides the ability to load textures and height maps, as well as meshes to convey many types of spatial concepts. Our proof of concept device provides a means to enable the use of existing resources to provide enriched experiences for the blind and visually impaired.


Haptic learning, virtual learning, blind and visually impaired, proof of concept

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5241/7-123

The Journal of Blindness Innovation and Research is copyright (c) 2017 to the National Federation of the Blind.