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Spatial Tactile Feedback Support for Mobile Touch-screen Devices

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Mobile touch-screen devices have the capability to accept flexible touch input and can provide larger screen space than mobile devices with physical buttons. However, current user interfaces on mobile touch-screen devices heavily use visual feedback. This raises a number of user interface challenges. For instance, visually-demanding user interfaces make it difficult for the user to interact with mobile touch-screen devices without looking at the screen, a task the user sometimes wishes to do particularly in a mobile setting. In addition, user interfaces on a mobile touch-screen device are not generally accessible to visually-impaired users.

I have been working on addressing this high visual demand issue found in existing user interfaces on mobile touch-screen devices by using spatial tactile feedback. I developed tactile feedback hardware employing multiple vibration motors in different locations on the backside of a mobile touch-screen device. This spatial arrangement allows the interface to produce various spatial vibration patterns on the user’s fingers and palm. I then developed systems with the spatial tactile feedback designed for eyes-free interaction, interfaces for the visually-impaired, and remote collaboration, and validated the effects of the spatial tactile feedback.

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