Navigation Links
Blind lead the way in brave new world of tactile technology

Imagine feeling a slimy jellyfish, a prickly cactus or map directions on your iPad mini Retina display, because that's where tactile technology is headed. But you'll need more than just an index finger to feel your way around.

New research at UC Berkeley has found that people are better and faster at navigating tactile technology when using both hands and several fingers. Moreover, blind people in the study outmaneuvered their sighted counterparts especially when using both hands and several fingers possibly because they've developed superior cognitive strategies for finding their way around.

Bottom line: Two hands are better than one in the brave new world of tactile or "haptic" technology, and the visually impaired can lead the way.

"Most sighted people will explore these types of displays with a single finger. But our research shows that this is a bad decision. No matter what the task, people perform better using multiple fingers and hands," said Valerie Morash, a doctoral student in psychology at UC Berkeley, and lead author of the study just published in the online issue of the journal, Perception.

"We can learn from blind people how to effectively use multiple fingers, and then teach these strategies to sighted individuals who have recently lost vision or are using tactile displays in high-stakes applications like controlling surgical robots," she added.

For decades, scientists have studied how receptors on the fingertips relay information to the brain. Now, researchers at Disney and other media companies are implementing more tactile interfaces, which use vibrations, and electrostatic or magnetic feedback for users to find their way around, or experience how something feels.

In this latest study, Morash and fellow researchers at UC Berkeley and the Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute in San Francisco tested 14 blind adults and 14 blindfolded sighted adults on several tasks using a tactile map. Using various hand and finger combinations, they were tasked with such challenges as finding a landmark or figuring out if a road looped around.

Overall, both blind and sighted participants performed better when using both hands and several fingers, although blind participants were, on average, 50 percent faster at completing the tasks, and even faster when they used both hands and all their fingers.

"As we move forward with integrating tactile feedback into displays, these technologies absolutely need to support multiple fingers," Morash said. "This will promote the best tactile performance in applications such as the remote control of robotics used in space and high-risk situations, among other things."


Contact: Yasmin Anwar
University of California - Berkeley

Related medicine news :

1. University of Utah ophthalmologist receives $100,000 from Research to Prevent Blindness
2. UC Davis and Orbis partner in telemedicine initiative to treat, prevent blindness
3. Eye health experts come together to boost fight against avoidable blindness
4. EyeMusic Sensory Substitution Device enables the blind to see colors and shapes
5. Visual system can retain considerable plasticity after extended blindness
6. Mayo Clinic research finds risk of glaucoma blindness drops by half
7. Same cell death pathway involved in three forms of blindness, Penn team finds
8. Researchers report technique that enables patient with word blindness to read again
9. New device offers hope to people blinded due to incurable eye disorders
10. Congenital blindness results in lower thermal pain thresholds
11. Assistive Technology Products for Blindness, Low Vision and Learning Disabilities Designed by HumanWare Now Offered by
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/25/2015)... , ... November 25, 2015 , ... On November 10, ... States District Court of Connecticut on behalf of a home health care worker who ... current or former home health care workers employed by Humana, Inc., Humana at Home, ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) , ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... advanced da Vinci surgical robot is being more and more widely heralded as a ... robotic assisted da Vinci method has over traditional laparoscopic surgery is that it can ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... 25, 2015 , ... Dental professionals who would like to become more proficient ... attend Dr. Mark Iacobelli’s Advanced Implant Mentoring (AIM) CE course. Courses will be held ... the co-founders of Advanced Implant Mentoring (AIM), Dr. Iacobelli and Dr. D’Orazio are proud ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... athletic programs, launches new Wimbledon Athletics Facebook page to educate the ... for unsuspected cardiac abnormalities. About 2,000 people under the age of 25 die ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... On November 23rd 2015 Cozy ... personal heating products business. Cozy Products explains what this means for business moving ... well with the Cozy Products business model: to sell personal heaters that reduce energy ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/25/2015)... , November 25, 2015 ... Investors"), pursuant to which BioLight and the New Investors ... Ltd. subsidiary ("IOPtima") via a private placement. The financing ... its innovative IOPtimate™ system used in the treatment of ... pathway process for the IOPtimate™ system with the U.S. ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... DUBLIN , Nov. 25, 2015 Research ... of the "Membranes Market - Global Forecast to ... Asia-Pacific , accounting for 37.21% of the ... Asia-Pacific region is projected to ... This growth has been attributed primarily to the fast ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... WuXi PharmaTech (Cayman) Inc. ("WuXi" or the "Company") (NYSE: ... technology platform company serving the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical ... and the United States , ... shareholders held today, the Company,s shareholders voted in favor ... announced agreement and plan of merger (the "Merger Agreement") ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: