Using eTextile objects for touch based interaction for visual impairment

Giles, Emilie and van der Linden, Janet (2014). Using eTextile objects for touch based interaction for visual impairment. In: ASGA2014 Atelier of Smart Garments and Accessories, 14 Sep 2014, Seattle.




In this paper we explore the relationship between eTextiles and touch-based interaction with regards to visual impairment. We argue that smart fabrics and conductive materials have mostly been researched in terms of their attractive visual properties but that their tactile properties are largely underexplored. We discuss development of a number of eTextile prototype objects which we explored in conversations with blind participants. The focus is on how they use different gestures while interacting with the objects and reflect on these associations when exploring. Through these studies and conversations we propose to take forward a user-centered design approach to creating further objects which can be utilised in aiding or enhancing experiences for people who are visually impaired.

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