Dedicated to Improving the Lives of Blind and Visually Impaired People

Research Update: Investigating the Use of Advanced Touch Simulation to Improve Accessibility to Digital Information for People With Vision Loss

“Groundbreaking ‘virtual Braille’ research,” is applying virtual reality (VR) and “advanced haptics” (tactile feedback) to improve access to digital information. The project is investigating “Glove-based Tactile Streaming of Braille Characters and Digital Images for the Visually Impaired.” Conducted by a research team from Old Dominion University (ODU), HaptX, and Georgia Institute of Technology, the project has been awarded grant funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health (NIH), and National Eye Institute (NEI). “The team aims to transform the ways in which visually impaired individuals explore and navigate virtual environments.” Users will wear HaptX gloves to experience exact tactile interaction with digital images and objects that are streaming. The team will explore the feasibility and assess the commercial potential of their concept to build a foundation for further development of this technology. “By bridging the accessibility gap,” this project promises to open “new realms of engagement with spatial computing environments.” Potentially, its results can “unlock educational opportunities, fostering greater independence and society integration for millions of people…” Read more in the PR Newswire press release announcing that Old Dominion University, HaptX, and Georgia Tech Win Grant Award for Project to Advance VR for Vision-Impaired.