A haptic system that would assist in teaching blind children how to write has been developed by Stephen Brewster, professor of human-computer interaction at University of Glasgow.
This system uses the popular Phantom Omni force feedback device from Sensable to help in directing the pen correctly.
The professor had been working in collaboration with the University of Auckland, and he has been introducing the device in schools in Auckland. Professor Brewster explains, 'The device can guide or constrain certain types of movements, so as the teacher draws on a touch screen the movements are echoed directly back to the student, allowing the student to feel the movements and learn the letter shapes.'
Professor Breswster's research could encourage further work that would benefit not only visually impaired people, but others too. He is working on technology that will enhance our experience of the world in a different way.
'My research is in multi-modal interaction, which is all about combining the different senses to use computers or access information,' he says.