Braille Display by Lateral Skin Deformation with the STReSS2 Tactile Transducer
Proc. IEEE World Haptics Conference 2007, March 22-24, Tsukuba, Japan.
Best Paper Award for Haptic Applicationdownload pdf
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Earlier work with a 1-D tactile transducer demonstrated that lateral skin deformation is sufficient to produce sensations similar to those felt when brushing a finger against a line of Braille dots. Here, we extend this work to the display of complete 6-dot Braille characters using a general purpose 2-D tactile transducer called STReSS2. The legibility of the produced Braille was evaluated by asking seven expert Braille readers to identify meaningless 5-letter strings as well as familiar words. Results indicate that reading was difficult but possible for most individuals. The superposition of texture to the sensation of a dot improved performance. The results contain much information to guide the design of a specialized Braille display operating by lateral skin deformation. They also suggest that rendering for contrast rather than realism may facilitate Braille reading when using a weak tactile transducer.