3D Haptic-Audio Enabled Online Shopping: Development and Challenges of a New Website for the Visually Impaired
The advancement curve of Information Communication Technology (ICT) is growing rapidly over the years; it is essential to look into the application of the current technology to augment its potential benefits in the real world. One such area is how the current technology can be better adapted to contribute to the less privileged such as the visually impaired (VI) community, which is the focus of this project. While people with fully functional abilities are able to adapt to the rapid change in technology, VI individuals often stumble in this area. Due to their restricted visual abilities and heavy reliance on tactile perception which is minimized with the introduction of touchscreens, VI individuals experience difficulties in maximizing the benefits of technology. Not only that, it is also a challenge for VI individuals to navigate through websites, especially for the purpose of online shopping. This research looks at creating a new 3D haptic-audio virtual objects website to counter the internet browsing limitations of VI individuals, while enhancing their shopping experience. The challenges encountered in this process are further highlighted and discussed.
KeywordsHaptic-Audio shopping website Visually impaired Virtual environment 3D objects
This Research is fully funded by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission through the Networked Media Research Grant (Grant No: EXT-FST-CIS-MCMC-2016-01, MCMC(IRLC) 700-8/2/2/JLD.2(9)). St Nicholas Home Penang, National Council for The Blind Malaysia (NCBM), and Malaysian Association for The Blind (MAB) have also contributed invaluable advice, time, support, and expertise such that the objectives of this research can be achieved.
- 1.Demain S, Metcalf CD, Merrett GV, Zheng D, Cunningham S (2013) A narrative on haptic devices: relating the physiology and psychophysical properties of the hand to devices for rehabilitation in central nervous system disorders. Disabil Rehabil Assist Technol 8(3):181–189. https://doi.org/10.3109/17483107.2012.697532CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 4.Liu LM, Li W, Dai JJ (2017) Haptic technology and its application in education and learning. In: 10th international conference on Ubi-media computing and workshops (Ubi-media), pp. 1–6. https://doi.org/10.1109/umedia.2017.8074138
- 5.Husman MAB, Maqbool HF, Awad MI, Abouhossein A, Dehghani-Sanij AA (2016) A wearable skin stretch haptic feedback device: Towards improving balance control in lower limb amputees. In: 38th annual international conference of the IEEE engineering in medicine and biology society (EMBC), pp. 2120–2123. https://doi.org/10.1109/embc.2016.7591147
- 6.Williamson K, Wright S, Schauder D, Bow A (2001) The internet for the blind and visually imapired. J Comput-Mediated Commun 7(1). https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1083-6101.2001.tb00135.xCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 7.Celusnak BM (2016) Teching the iPhone with voiceover accessibility to people with visual impairments. J Vis Impairment Blindness 110(5):369–372Google Scholar
- 9.Wong EJ, Yap KM, Alexander J, Karnik A (2015) HABOS: an exploratory study of haptic-audio based online shopping for the visually impaired. 1–6. https://doi.org/10.1109/have.2015.7359444
- 10.Boswel W (2013) Making touch more realistic: advances in haptic technology. Retrieved 14 March 2018, from https://software.intel.com/en-us/blogs/2013/05/08/making-touch-more-realistic-advances-in-haptic-technology
- 11.Tsuchitani C (n.d.) Somatosensory systems. In: Neuroscience Online. Retrieved from http://nba.uth.tmc.edu/neuroscience/m/s2/chapter02.html