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  • 1. Evaluation of Haptic RIA MapsDavid J. Brown and Lindsay J. Evett,ISRG, Nottingham Trent UniversityAEGIS Workshop and International Conference, Brussels

2. IntroductionPeople who are blind use sequential, route based strategiesfor navigating round the real world, rather than external,or allocentric, frames of referencesMore map-based strategies better for navigational tasks for people who are blind (Hill, et al, 1993); training in such strategies greatly improves performance (Cummins and Rieser, 2008; Simonnet et al, 2006)Allocentric mapping involves identifying location relative to perceptible landmarks (external frames of reference) and encoding vectors between landmarks to provide a exible system to determine location as the person moves around the environment (Feigenbaum and Morris (2004)) AEGIS Workshop and International Conference, Brussels 3. Spatial mental modelsExternal frames of reference and map based strategies aremore efficient and flexible easier to remember,alternative routes can be taken, shortcuts made anddestinations changed because they encompass a morecomplete spatial representation (Martinsen et al, 2007)Oliver and Burnett (2008) route guidance systemssuppress cognitive map developmentActive exploration of virtual worlds and maps to supportdevelopment of map-based strategies and spatial mentalmodels (Tversky, 1993) to support independentnavigational skillsAEGIS Workshop and International Conference, Brussels 4. Spatial representationsWe are investigating a range of games based and assistive technologies that can support development of allocentric navigational strategies in people who are blind, and continually assessing their efficacyIn some circumstances these technologies offeradvantages over real world route learning asthey may help generate a fuller spatial cognitiverepresentation, involve active learning positions,and be available for use on a daily basis (unlikereal world training support) AEGIS Workshop and International Conference, Brussels 5. Haptic RIA MapsHaptic RIA maps is an application whereby visually impaired users can explore a web- based representation of a street map using a force feedback/haptic deviceAs well as haptic feedback there are auditory cues, such as street names, and a sonification mechanism which provides distance informationCan this system provide information equivalent to that provided to sighted users by conventional 2D maps?AEGIS Workshop and International Conference, Brussels 6. Spatial representation and Haptic MapsCan people who are blind read Haptic Maps and get useful information out of them? (spatial information, contextual information)What is the level of improved spatial information? e.g., find out more about an unknown space, used it to extend a known route, or take alternative routes, or create a new route, take different perspectives..? AEGIS Workshop and International Conference, Brussels 7. Nature of Information generated by Haptic MapsTests proposed to assess whether active exploration of Haptic Maps can support development of spatial mental models, and the complexity of those representationsThe efficacy of the Haptic RIA Maps can be compared to the use of Touch Over Maps, and other navigational and Way Finding support systems, such as the Virtual Cane, Route Mate and Point Nav AEGIS Workshop and International Conference, Brussels 8. AEGIS Haptic RIA Maps Test Tasks1. Search for a location; map generated through OpenStreetMap; after a map has loaded, generate 3D representations (i.e., create haptic map)2. Explore the map, feel the haptic feedback, hear the auditory feedback: While moving on the streets, different sounds generated e.g., when standing at an intersection; pitch of sound indicates approximately distance to next intersection; press LCtrl for street; ~ for POI information3. Search for a specific street name4. Move/relocate the map: move around to see more of the map using the arrow keys. Press the spacebar to restore haptics5. Zoom: Zoom the map in and out one step; wait until street info resumes. Space bar restores haptics. AEGIS Workshop and International Conference, Brussels 9. ParticipantsLUND tested with 9 people: 1 test leader who alsoperformed a heuristic evaluation, 2 pilot testers and 6users. Both the pilot testers and 2 end users were fullysighted but used simulated cataract glasses. 1 user isblind, 3 have low visionFONCE/UPM tested with 5 blind users, and 3 expertsformed the focus groupEPR tested with 8 blind/partially sighted users, 10 expertsNTU tested with 2 blind users, 1 tutor and 3 experts (allsighted). All took part in the focus group discussion.LUND used the PHANToM OMNI; all others used the NovintFalcon AEGIS Workshop and International Conference, Brussels 10. Participants - experienceLUND users all had varying degrees of experience with force feedback hapticsNTU blind users had some limited experience of tactile maps; both use GPS and had some very limited experience with the FalconFONCE/UPM users were experienced with Braille maps and GPS but had no experience of haptic devicesEPR users had experience with swell paper and relief usage, but none had ever worked with a Falcon device beforeAEGIS Workshop and International Conference, Brussels 11. Degree of Visual ImpairmentPartial sightedness: someone who has serious lossof vision even when correctedBlind: severe sight loss even when corrected; maybe totalLow vision: moderate sight loss (NHS choices,2011; Wikipedia, 2011)Aegis: Low vision users (users with a sight impairment and blindness with useful residual vision) rate: 1. mild; 2. moderate; 3. severe Blind users (without useful residual vision) rate: 4. totalAEGIS Workshop and International Conference, Brussels 12. Results tasks (b/ps users only)1. Search: Search stage not accessible by screenreader2. Explore Map: All groups found the Haptic feedback to be unstable. Those using the Falcon found it very difficult to use, haptic feedback was erratic and inconsistent, the device was prone to violently lurching and sometimes no haptic feedback could be felt at all3. Search for specific street:LUND all users able to do tasks at least partly without help, but hardto find street with no guidanceFONCE/UPM needed to know the area, or have explored Braille mapto do thisEPR mostly failedNTU one could, one couldntAEGIS Workshop and International Conference, Brussels 13. Results - tasks (contd.)4. Move/relocate the mapLUND all users able to do tasks at least partly without helpFONCE/UPM not mentionedEPR couldnt do itNTU if any key press etc. while map relocating system crashed, sodidnt do this5. ZOOMLUND all users able to do tasks at least partly without helpFONCE/UPM easier with fewer streetsEPR - couldnt do itNTU didnt work when in map AEGIS Workshop and International Conference, Brussels 14. Results auditory feedbackNTU: position of tilde key on English keyboards made it difficult to use.One of the blind users was left handed, found all the key commandsawkwardAll Falcon users had to go very slowly to be able to use it at all, to try and keep on the streets. Very easy to lift off the streets, audio feedback stopped.No cues to leaving the map, so difficult to know if left the boundary ofthe map, or lifted the device off the mapSpanish users found verbal output difficult Street names in SpanishBUT the rest in English, and pronunciations were difficult tounderstand. NTU found the voice difficult to understand. EPRreported the auditory feedback overall as good, but sometimes theCTRL key did not generate any feedbackLag on TTS and sonification could cause problems; sonification could bedifficult to understand, unpleasantAEGIS Workshop and International Conference, Brussels 15. Results SummaryVerbal feedback difficult to understand; sonification OK but could beimproved (some lag on both)Relocating and zooming unreliable; only LUND able to do these, butusers didnt like losing their reference points, and having to turnhaptics back onAll wanted indication of edge of mapThe PHANToM appears to be easier to use than the Falcon, but still haptic feedback is unstableBoth interaction devices involve a complicated relationship with themap representation (actions dont have direct/simple relationshipwith the map); PHANToM works better but too expensiveAll groups liked the idea of the application; there were limitations with cues and feedback, but overriding difficulty was with the haptic feedback, especially for the Falcon AEGIS Workshop and International Conference, Brussels 16. Results NTU commentsOne blind user could do it all, but found it difficult to keep on the map; found the voice difficult to understand and the sonification a bit difficult, slightly unpleasantNONE of the other NTU users could use it easily (1 blind, 4 sighted), although the sighted users did manage to move to the specified street AEGIS Workshop and International Conference, Brussels 17. What to do?Better device? MS haptic mouse? Better haptics?Consider aims of app to help blind users build a useful, spatial cognitive representation of the map areaConsider relationship between cognitive representation, actions, map representationNeed more direct and reliable relationship between themNeed reference points (implicit in a spatial mental model, multiple perspectives) AEGIS Workshop and International Conference, Brussels 18. Touch Over mapsHaptiMap demonstrator (HaptiMap, 2011)Has all the desirable attributes:user actions have a direct, reliable, relationship with mapsSimple reference points (may need more on tablet)easy to use (2 blind users)can reproduce the map (2 blind users)BUT 1 blind user with resid. vision found areas with patchyfeedback, frustrating and poor info.MS haptic mouse could have similar attributesTo have both would give desktop and mobile apps AEGIS Workshop and International Conference, Brussels 19. Further workInvestigate MS haptic mouse; improve