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Multimodal Kinect-supported interaction for the visually impaired

: Gross, Richard
: Bockholt, Ulrich; Kuijper, Arjan

Darmstadt, 2012, 92 pp.
Darmstadt, TU, Master Thesis, 2012
Master Thesis
Fraunhofer IGD ()
intuitive interaction; human-computer interaction (HCI); physically based modeling; realtime interaction; gesture based interaction; Business Field: Digital society; Research Area: Semantics in the modeling process

This thesis suggests a new computer interface, specifically targeted at blind and visually impaired people. We use the Microsoft Kinect to track a user's position and have implemented a novel spatial interface to control text-to-speech synthesis of a document. Which actions are executed is solely determined through hand movements in relation to the body. All feedback for the actions is given in auditory form, through synthesized speech or earcons. Earcons are brief, unique sounds that convey information. Visually impaired or blind users do not have to point or remember keyboard commands, but can use their proprioceptive sense to effectively explore documents and execute actions.
The test results are encouraging. Even when participants found themselves lost they were always able to find their way back to an interface state they knew how to navigate. Furthermore, most negative feedback can be attributed to the current technical limitations and not the spatial interface itself.