IEICE Transactions on Information and Systems

TAJODA: Proposed tactile and jog dial interface for the blind


There is a fatal difference in obtaining information between sighted people and the blind. Screen reading technology assists blind people in accessing digital documents by themselves helping to bridge such gap. However, these days they are becoming much more visual using various types of visual effects for sighted people to explore the information intuitively at a glance. It is very hard to convey visual effects non-visually and intuitively while retaining the original effects. In addition, it takes a long time to explore the information, since blind people use the keyboard for exploration, while sighted people use eye movement. This research aims at improving the non-visual exploration interface and improving the quality of non-visual information. Therefore, TAJODA (tactile jog dial interface) was proposed to solve these problems. It presents verbal information (text information) in the form of speech, while nonverbal information (visual effects) is represented in the form of tactile sensations. It uses a jog dial as an exploration device, which makes it possible to explore forward or backward intuitively in the speech information by spinning the jog dial clockwise or counterclockwise. It also integrates a tactile device to represent visual effects non-visually. Both speech and tactile information can be synchronized with the dial movements. The speed of spinning the dial affects the speech rate. The main part of this paper describes an experimental evaluation of the effectiveness of the proposed TAJODA interface. The experimental system used a preprocessed recorded human voice as test data. The training sessions showed that it was easy to learn how to use TAJODA. The comparison test session clearly showed that the subjects could perform the comparison task using TAJODA significantly faster (2.4 times faster) than with the comparison method that is closest to the existing screen reading function. Through this experiment, our results showed that TAJODA can drastically improve the non-visual exploration interface.