Tactile Compass: Enabling Visually Impaired People to Follow a Path with Continuous Directional Feed

CHI 2021: ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems is the most famous conference in HCI field. It’s acceptance rate is around 25%.

Accurate and effective directional feedback is crucial for an electronic traveling aid device that guides visually impaired people in walking through paths. This paper presents Tactile Compass, a hand-held device that provides continuous directional feedback with a rotatable needle pointing toward the planned direction. We conducted two lab studies to evaluate the effectiveness of the feedback solution. Results showed that, using Tactile Compass, participants could reach the target direction in place with a mean deviation of 3.03° and could smoothly navigate along paths of 60cm width, with a mean deviation from the centerline of 12.1cm. Subjective feedback showed that Tactile Compass was easy to learn and use.

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