Comparing Performance and Preference of Visually Impaired Individuals in Object Localization: Tactile, Verbal, and Sonification Cueing Modalities

Shatha Abu Rass, Omer Cohen, Eliav Bareli, Sigal Portnoy*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Audio guidance is a common means of helping visually impaired individuals to navigate, thereby increasing their independence. However, the differences between different guidance modalities for locating objects in 3D space have yet to be investigated. The aim of this study was to compare the time, the hand’s path length, and the satisfaction levels of visually impaired individuals using three automatic cueing modalities: pitch sonification, verbal, and vibration. We recruited 30 visually impaired individuals (11 women, average age 39.6 ± 15.0), who were asked to locate a small cube, guided by one of three cueing modalities: sonification (a continuous beep that increases in frequency as the hand approaches the cube), verbal prompting (“right”, “forward”, etc.), and vibration (via five motors, attached to different locations on the hand). The three cueing modalities were automatically activated by computerized motion capture systems. The subjects separately answered satisfaction questions for each cueing modality. The main finding was that the time to find the cube was longer using the sonification cueing (p = 0.016). There were no significant differences in the hand path length or the subjects’ satisfaction. It can be concluded that verbal guidance may be the most effective for guiding people with visual impairment to locate an object in a 3D space.

Original languageEnglish
Article number127
JournalTechnologies
Volume11
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2023

Funding

FundersFunder number
Lior Sima Medical Research Fund

    Keywords

    • assistive technology
    • blindness
    • motion capture
    • smart environment

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