Doctoral Defense Announcement: “Supporting Navigation with a Torso Wearable Tactile Display”

December 18th, 2017

Categories: Applications, Devices, MS / PhD Thesis, User Groups, Human Augmentics


Committee: Andrew Johnson (Chair and Advisor), Steve Jones, Robert Kenyon, Jason Leigh (University of Hawaiʻi at Manoa), Luc Renambot

December 18, 2017, 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Room 1000 SEO

An estimated 253 million people in the world are blind and visually impaired. Visual impairments can significantly lower one’s quality of life as they hamper the ability to perform otherwise simple tasks, like cooking a meal, walking to the bedroom or enjoying the outdoors. Similarly, people working in high-risk low-visibility environments, like firefighters and soldiers, might temporarily lose their vision when they need it the most. And while Tactile Visual Substitution Systems have been designed to aid in situations with vision loss, their use in navigation scenarios is very limited.

In this dissertation, I investigate and propose different environment-to-vibration mappings while assessing one’s Situation Awareness. The proposed approaches seek to understand whether one’s experience with a tactile display would affect their Situation Awareness and how different vibration configurations, patterns, and environment-to-vibration mappings would affect one’s navigation. The results of this dissertation provide insight and design implications for creating more complex navigational tactile displays.