Combined audio-haptic interfaces for supporting the spatial navigation of visually impaired people


Start-Up Budget of the Excellence Initiative, Competence Area "Technology, Culture, and Society"

Project duration:

1.4. 2012 - 31.10.2012

Project partners:

KIT, The Study Centre for the Visually Impaired Students (SZS)
KIT, Building Lifecycle Management (BLM)
KIT, Engineering Mathematics and Computing Lab (EMCL)
KIT, Institute for Data Processing and Electronics (IPE)
State College of Design Karlsruhe, Faculty of Media Art (associated)


Blind and visually impaired people usually interpret spatial structures using a pronounced sense of touch and hearing. This direct access to information is made difficult in two crucial scenarios: first, fast changing geometries are difficult to interpret and secondly, virtual, computer-based structures remain inaccessible to these senses. Current solutions concentrate on haptical interfaces and neglect the well trained hearing sense of blind persons. The project team addresses the questions resulting thereof and evaluates a combined haptical-acoustical experimental design that should facilitate the interaction of blind researchers with complex geometrical structures.