Using Wii technology to explore real spaces via virtual environments for people who are blind

O. Lahav, H. Gedalevitz, S. Battersby, D. Brown, L. Evett, P. Merritt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: Virtual environments (VEs) that represent real spaces (RSs) give people who are blind the opportunity to build a cognitive map in advance that they will be able to use when arriving at the RS. The paper aims to discuss this issue. Design/methodology/approach: In this research study Nintendo Wii-based technology was used for exploring VEs via the Wiici application. The Wiimote allows the user to interact with VEs by simulating walking and scanning the space. Findings: By getting haptic and auditory feedback the user learned to explore new spaces. The authors examined the participants’ abilities to explore new simple and complex places, construct a cognitive map, and perform orientation tasks in the RS. Originality/value: To the authors’ knowledge, this finding presents the first VE for people who are blind that allow the participants to scan the environment and by this to construct map model spatial representations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)150-160
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Assistive Technologies
Volume8
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2014

Keywords

  • Blind
  • Cognitive map
  • Orientation and mobility
  • Real spaces
  • Virtual environment
  • Wii

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