Haptic Perception of Digital Images Helping the Blind Visitors

Keith Qiu, Shanghai Chantey Culture Communication Co Ltd, China, Wenzhen Yang, Zhejiang Sci-Tech University, China

As a museum service provider, we are trying to find the best way to accommodate the disabled, especially for the bind or low vision visitors, not excluding from experiencing art because of their inability to see.

This haptic perception of digital images method our proposed can be an entirely new interactive model between blind or low vision visitors and digital image of collection, it can help the blind or low vision visitors to learn more about the art history when they interact with the relics which are strictly not allowed to touch.

This device used by blind or low vision visitors feedbacks the tactile or force sense information of the collection surface in the image to the visitors. The visitors feel as if they really touch the object in the image.

In order to improve the authenticity of image haptic perception, we innovatively propose a perceptual model based on regional haptic texture features and establish a new visual tactile sensing system, which can perceive the three-dimensional contours, roughness and softness of object in an image by different regions and different levels. This visual tactile sensing system realizes visual – haptic synchronous feedback when the visitors operate a digital image. Furthermore, each of these experiences can be 3D printed.
For the blind or low vision visitors, it is more important to increase their visiting experience, using this system they can touch and feel all kind of collections, having better understanding of special relics like handwriting and all kind of drawings,

Haptic Perception is not specific to the blind visitors, other visitors also need or want to use this technique. Just imaging in the museum, if useing the force feedback device plus a 3D picture, the sighted visitors can not only see it, they can also touch and feel the texture and shape, as well as the surrounding background. For those visitors, this should be a great experience, which they never had before.

Dr. Keith Qiu got his bachelor degree in Archaeology from Shandong University in 1982, and his master degree in History from the same university in 1985, his PhD in History from Jinan University in Guangzhou in 1988. He is a guest researcher of Shanghai University Museum and vice chief editor of (Quarterly). He is also the general manager of Shanghai Shangte Culture Communication Company Ltd. His research interests are in interactive digital media (especially VR and AR) for the field of Museology.
Dr. Qiu’s main research papers were published in the Weekly of China Cultural Relics, the only national newspaper for the Chinese museums and archaeological institutions. He also worked with the Archaeology Department of Shandong University for the virtual archaeology software development.

Dr. Wenzhen Yang received his MSc in Mechanical Engineering from Zhejiang University in 2001, and his PhD in Computer Science from Zhejiang University in 2007. As a visiting scholar he worked at the George Mason University in 2009. Now, Dr. Yang works as an Associate Professor and Virtual Reality Laboratory Chair at Zhejiang Sci-Tech University. His research interests are in interactive digital media (particularly in 3D visualization, virtual reality, and olfactory and haptic interfaces), and Biomedical Engineering (anthropopathic dexterous hand, virtual surgery, and master-slave control medical devices). Dr. Yang has more than 50 research papers and presented 20 papers at international conferences. He also got more than 30 nation patents of China and 2 PCT international patents. He is a committee member of ACM SIGCHI of China and Session chair of HCI of VRCAI 2010 etc.

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