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SBIR Phase II: A Dynamic Tactile Display for Visually Impaired Computer Users

Award Information

Agency:
National Science Foundation
Branch:
N/A
Award ID:
69347
Program Year/Program:
2005 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
0339652
Solicitation Year:
N/A
Solicitation Topic Code:
N/A
Solicitation Number:
N/A
Small Business Information
VORTANT TECHNOLOGIES, LLC
88 HIGH COUNTRY RD WEAVERVILLE, NC 28787-
View profile »
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
 
Phase 2
Fiscal Year: 2005
Title: SBIR Phase II: A Dynamic Tactile Display for Visually Impaired Computer Users
Agency: NSF
Contract: 0522076
Award Amount: $497,646.00
 

Abstract:

This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II project will create a Dynamic Tactile Display (DTD) prototype with the look, feel, and functionality of the real-world product, and it will demonstrate that the DTD makes it easier to learn and use computers than existing screen reader technology. An in-home trial study will allow a group of users to have the DTD over an extended period of time in their homes, to establish whether or not they continue to like to use it over time. Technical development during Phase II will produce a powerful interface tool that translates computer display information into an intuitive, tactile format, and allows much greater accessibility of computer tools to the blind and visually impaired user. Modern computer software and web pages are highly visually oriented. However, there are millions of blind or severely visually impaired individuals whose visual disability prevents them from seeing the standard computer screen. User frustration with existing computer access solutions is high, and the number of visually disabled people currently using computers is very low--much lower than the rate in the general population. This low rate of computer use indicates a serious need for better computer access technology for this disabled population. The DTD is primarily being developed as a new, more effective interface for visually impaired users to use windows-based software and experience the Internet. Providing such a tool is increasingly important as computers become more pervasive in everyday professional, educational, and social life. The DTD will thus serve as a means to improve the inclusion of the blind and visually impaired in the mainstream of society by allow these users greater access to computers, access which is closer to that enjoyed by the sighted population. Providing a new human/computer interface modality, the DTD proffers an environment in which to understand more about the design and use of tactile interfaces. It may serve as a useful platform for optimization of the tactile display paradigm for human/machine or human/human interactions through touch.

Principal Investigator:

Philip R. Schaefer
Mr
8286451026
phil@vortant.com

Business Contact:

Philip R. Schaefer
Mr
8286451026
phil@vortant.com
Small Business Information at Submission:

Vortant Technologies
88 High Country Road Weaverville, NC 28787

EIN/Tax ID:
DUNS: N/A
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No