Paths to Literacy

for students who are blind or visually impaired

HaptiRead: Haptic Feedback Braille in Mid-air

Student Research/Review of the HaptiRead:

There are many uses for braille for individual’s with a visual impairments and read braille in their life. While investigating different ways to make the world more accessible for individuals with a visual impairment, I reasearched about the HaptiRead. It  is a device that projects braille into the air so individuals with a visual impairment can feel the braille without touching any surfaces. This can help the overall health the braille reader because they are not touching a surface that may not be clean. This is due to the fact that the HaptiRead has a sensor and starts functioning once an individual’s hand gets within a certain distance of the device.

HaptiRead has three different settings for projecting braille. It can project braille one cell at a time, a row of one cell at a time or one by one dots of a cell. There was a study performed and it found that not only individuals who are blind could read braille with this device. Also, individuals with sight were able to use this device and read braille. HaptiRead can also be used to project informational graphs into the air and help individuals with visual impairments feel what is on a graph.

Pros and Cons of HaptiRead

In my opinion here are the Pros of this device:
•    It is a surface free device reducing the spread of germs making a healthier living style.
•    It allows individuals with a visual impairment the ability to access information that third parties can’t access by proximity to the individual. Thus, allowing the individual to keep their information private.
•    It allows individuals with a visual impairment access to charts and graphs easier than other technology.
•    Poeple who have neuropathy can have an easier time reading braille because the palm of the hand can be used instead of the fingertips.

In my personal opinion here are the Cons of this device:
•    Besides having your hand within a certain proximity to the device, there doesn’t seem to be an easy way for an individual with a visual impairment to locate it.
•    It seems to only come in the color black which can be challenging for visually impaired individuals to locate it with their remaining functional vision especially if they need high contrast cues.
•    The HaptiRead only has a 4-dot read cell so far.

Final Impressions

HaptiRead is a great device to help individuals keep their personal information private as well as allow access to public places without having to touch physical surfaces. This will also help individuals with a visual impairment to have quicker access to information from a graph. Data from graphs can easily be displayed through haptic feedback. This has the potential to replace current accessible technology that helps make graphical information tactile. Such as using rubber bands and a pegboard to tactilely display a bar graph. This also has the potential to replace text to speech devices for reading medical information. Such as information from a prescription bottle. Overall, I believe many individuals with visual impairments can benefit from the assistance of a HaptiRead device. They will not have to worry about how many people are around them when accessing their personal private information allowing individuals with a visual impairment better peace of mind.

References

Dormehl L. (2020) Amazing haptic speaker lets visually impaired people read braille midair. Retrieved April 27, 2022. From https://www.digitaltrends.com/news/haptic-speaker-midair-braille/
Grad P. (2020) Digital Braille speaker communicates using mid-air pulses. Retrieved April 27, 2022. From https://techxplore.com/news/2020-06-digital-braille-speaker-mid-air-pulses.html
Irving M. (2020) Ultrasound haptic system projects Braille into thin air. Retrieved April 27, 2022. From https://newatlas.com/technology/haptiread-ultrasound-haptic-braille/
Paneva V., Seinfeld S., Kraiczi M., Müller J. (2020) HaptiRead: Reading Braille as Mid-Air Haptic Information. Retrieved April 27, 2022. From https://arxiv.org/pdf/2005.06292.pdf

Posted on May 6, 2022
Updated on: May 6, 2022