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The Unfolding Space Glove: A Wearable Spatio-Visual to Haptic Sensory Substitution Device for Blind People

  • This paper documents the design, implementation and evaluation of the Unfolding Space Glove—an open source sensory substitution device. It transmits the relative position and distance of nearby objects as vibratory stimuli to the back of the hand and thus enables blind people to haptically explore the depth of their surrounding space, assisting with navigation tasks such as object recognition and wayfinding. The prototype requires no external hardware, is highly portable, operates in all lighting conditions, and provides continuous and immediate feedback—all while being visually unobtrusive. Both blind (n = 8) and blindfolded sighted participants (n = 6) completed structured training and obstacle courses with both the prototype and a white long cane to allow performance comparisons to be drawn between them. The subjects quickly learned how to use the glove and successfully completed all of the trials, though still being slower with it than with the cane. Qualitative interviews revealed a high level of usability and user experience. Overall, the results indicate the general processability of spatial information through sensory substitution using haptic, vibrotactile interfaces. Further research would be required to evaluate the prototype’s capabilities after extensive training and to derive a fully functional navigation aid from its features.

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Verfasserangaben:Jakob Kilian, Alexander Neugebauer, Lasse Scherffig, Siegfried Wahl
Titel des übergeordneten Werkes (Englisch):Sensors
Herausgeber*in:Andrea Cataldo
Dokumentart:Wissenschaftlicher Artikel
Datum der Veröffentlichung:26.02.2022
Datum der Freigabe:10.05.2022
GND-Schlagwort:Blinder Mensch; Fortbewegung; Haptische Feedback-Technologie; Mobilität; Navigation; Open Source; Orientierung
Freies Schlagwort / Tag:Blind; Haptic; Locomotion; Mobility; Navigation; Open Source; Orientation; Tactile Vision Sensory Substitution; Visually Impaired; Wearable
Ausgabe / Heft:5
Fakultäten und Zentrale Einrichtungen:Kulturwissenschaften (F02) / Fakultät 02 / Köln International School of Design
DDC-Sachgruppen:600 Technik, Medizin, angewandte Wissenschaften
Lizenz (Deutsch):License LogoCreative Commons - CC BY - Namensnennung 4.0 International