“Tactile Line Drawings for Improved Shape Understanding in Blind and Visually Impaired Users” by Panotopoulou, Zhang, Qiu, Yang and Whiting

  • ©Athina Panotopoulou, Xiaoting Zhang, Tammy Qiu, Xing-Dong Yang, and Emily Whiting

Conference:


Type:


Session Title:

    Haptics and Touch

Title:

    Tactile Line Drawings for Improved Shape Understanding in Blind and Visually Impaired Users

Presenter(s)/Author(s):



Abstract:


    Members of the blind and visually impaired community rely heavily on tactile illustrations – raised line graphics on paper that are felt by hand – to understand geometric ideas in school textbooks, depict a story in children’s books, or conceptualize exhibits in museums. However, these illustrations often fail to achieve their goals, in large part due to the lack of understanding in how 3D shapes can be represented in 2D projections. This paper describes a new technique to design tactile illustrations considering the needs of blind individuals. Successful illustration design of 3D objects presupposes identification and combination of important information in topology and geometry. We propose a twofold approach to improve shape understanding. First, we introduce a part-based multi-projection rendering strategy to display geometric information of 3D shapes, making use of canonical viewpoints and removing reliance on traditional perspective projections. Second, curvature information is extracted from cross sections and embedded as textures in our illustrations.


ACM Digital Library Publication: