POINTING KEYBOARD AND TACTILE FEEDBACK SYSTEM FOR BLIND COMPUTER ACCESS

Award Information
Agency: Department of Education
Branch: N/A
Contract: N/A
Agency Tracking Number: 20893
Amount: $240,102.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 1994
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
Tini Alloy Company
1621 Neptune Drive, San Leandro, CA, 94577
DUNS: N/A
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 A David Johnson Phd
 President
 () -
Business Contact
Phone: () -
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract
THE GOAL OF THIS EFFORT IS A REFRESHABLE "BRAILLE" SYSTEM TO MAKE SCREEN AND PAGE FORMATTED INFORMATION ACCESSIBLE TO BLIND COMPUTER USERS. MECHANICAL TACTILE STIMULI ARE PRESENTED TO INDIVIDUAL FINGERS, REPRESENTING DOTS OF BRAILLE-CODED CHARACTERS, SO THAT READING IS THE INVERSE OF WRITING WITH A BRAILLE KEYBOARD. THE KEYBOARD, NORMALLY AN INPUT DEVICE, IS ENHANCED TO SERVE BOTH INPUT AND OUTPUT FUNCTIONS. POINTING AND PAGE LOCATION INFORMATION IS PROVIDED BY MOVING THE BRAILLE KEYBOARD IN X AND Y DIRECTIONS SO THAT ROWS AND COLUMNS OF TEXT ARE ACCESSED UTILIZING THE SAME ARM MOTIONS EMPLOYED IN READING EMBOSSED PAPER BRAILLE. KEYBOARD MOTION TRANSLATES A CURSOR AND THE PROPRIOCEPTIVE SENSE ENABLES THE USER TO SENSE MOVEMENT FROM PLACE TO PLACE OVER A VIRTUAL PAGE. WE WILL EXPLORE AN ALTERNATE METHOD IN WHICH A THUMB-OPERATED DEVICE IS USED TO SIMULATEMOTION WITHIN ROWS AND COLUMNS. A HARDWARE DESIGN COMBINING ROW AND COLUMN SCANNING WITH EIGHT-FINGER TACTILE STIMULATION WILL BE INTEGRATED WITH A BRAILLE KEYBOARD FOR INPUT AND OUTPUT OF TEXTUAL INFORMATION TO AND FROM A HOST COMPUTER. READING SPEED AND COMPREHENSION OF PAGE-FORMAT INFORMATION USING THIS METHOD WILL BE MEASURED, AS WELL AS PERFORMANCE ON OTHER BENCH MARK TASKS SUCH AS FINDING LINES IN A SPREADSHEET OR FINDING MISPELLED WORDS IN A WORDPROCESSOR.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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