Haptic games

Context

Geographic data is plentiful today and available free online (Open StreetMap for example). Unfortunately, they are not accessible for the visually impaired since the projection surfaces of these data are generally 2D visual surfaces (screen, touch screen, tablet, smartphone, etc.) It is however accepted that access to representations geographic data graphs improves the autonomy of the visually impaired by promoting mobility. More fundamentally, access to these graphic representations makes it possible to develop significant abstraction skills in many disciplines (geometry, geography, etc.). One way to facilitate learning is to do it through serious games.

Work done

This project is carried out in collaboration with the SACHI team from the University of Saint Andrews (Scotland) who designed a haptic device called HaptiQ. This device is manipulated like a computer mouse and allows, by means of 4 plastic rods mounted on piezoelectric motors, to give position and direction information. The principle of this prototype is to create haptic sensations useful for understanding the document traveled when the position and orientation of the HaptiQ are changed.
In order to assess the usability of the HaptiQ with visually impaired people (DV), we have designed a “labyrinth” type game in which a castaway must reach an island without drowning. We carried out an initial experiment which showed that the more complex the game, the more efficient the use of HaptiQ becomes.

Goals

We now want to design an interactive multimodal system (tangible, tactile, sound) allowing two users (sighted or visually impaired) to compete in a strategic game. The system should allow exploring the game table, learning about opponent’s moves and performing actions.