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Issues, challenges and practices in advancing pervasive human-computer interaction for people with combined hearing and vision impairments

Caporusso, Nicholas (2012) Issues, challenges and practices in advancing pervasive human-computer interaction for people with combined hearing and vision impairments. Advisor: Sbattella, Prof. Licia. pp. 223. [IMT PhD Thesis]

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Abstract

This dissertation is entirely dedicated to people having some degree of combined impairments of both the visual and the auditory channels and, specifically, to deafblind people. As such individuals are deaf and blind at the same time, they are not able to rely on their sight or on their sense of hearing to communicate with others and to interact with the external world. As a result, they are forced to utilize an alternative channel for achieving communication, interaction and access to information. Among the residual channels, the sense of touch is the best sensory substitute: although it is less performing than vision and hearing, it enables exchanging messages with the environment. Nevertheless, in order to be accessed for exchanging messages (communication) or for acquiring information, people and objects have to be at contact distance. This major drawback can be mitigated by introducing assistive technology (AT) in the form of novel human-computer interfaces that enable individuals to go beyond close proximity and to interact with a world that is, day after day, one step forward. In the first part of this dissertation, we provide an overview of touch-based communication systems, and we identify their major features, and we introduce a meta-language that enables the description of both the static and the dynamic features of touch-based communication systems, in order to enable systems to easily move from one language to another. The second part of this dissertation is dedicated to innovative devices especially designed for the deafblind; we discuss the challenges in implementing the dynamics touch-based communication systems into interactive devices, and we detail some experiments. Moreover, we discuss the design of a bimodal tactile device meant to enhance content reading with Braille displays; we present a tactile mouse for providing blind and deafblind users with vibrotactile-assisted two-dimension spatial navigation, and for enabling them to interact with WIMP interfaces. Subsequently, we introduce dbGLOVE, a proprietry wearable technology dedicated to the deafblind. Finally, we focus on the evaluation of dbGLOVE, and we introduce some improvements to the performance of the device.

Item Type: IMT PhD Thesis
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
PhD Course: Computer Science and Engineering
Identification Number: 10.6092/imtlucca/e-theses/87
Date Deposited: 22 Apr 2013 10:14
URI: http://e-theses.imtlucca.it/id/eprint/87

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