Handheld, Tactual Output, Reading and Writing Aid

Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: N/A
Contract: N/A
Agency Tracking Number: 22228
Amount: $50,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 1993
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
2301 Panorama Avenue, Boulder, CO, 80304
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 James T. Sears
 (303) 541-9112
Business Contact
Phone: () -
Research Institution
The research will investigate a uniquely configured optical to tactile converter which packages both the optical camera and a miniaturized vibrotactile display into a compact handheld configuration. The increased haptic awareness afforded to the user by this configuration is expected to improve the uniformity of text presentation to the sensing fingertip and may improve the performance and utility of the reading process for blind individuals. The device, called the Tactual Pen, will be evaluated along with the commercially available Optacon II, using volunteer blind and sighted test subjects including both current users and non-users of the Optacon. The tests will comparatively evaluate (1) text tracking ability, (2) reading of simple alphanumeric characters, (3) learning and replicating graphical icons using manual inscription, and (4) gathering spatial understanding of graphical constructs larger than the field of view. The results from this testing will allow the performance of the Tactual Pen to be compared directly with the Optacon and will capitalize on the existing body of research performed on that device.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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