Evaluation of rotational and directional vibration patterns on a tactile belt for guiding visually impaired people

Akansel Cosgun, E. Akin Sisbot, Henrik I. Christensen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperResearch

33 Citations (Scopus)


We present the design of a vibro tactile belt and an evaluation study of intuitive vibration patterns for providing navigation assistance to blind people. Encoding directions with haptic interfaces is a common practice for outdoor navigation assistance but it is insufficient in cluttered indoor environments where fine maneuvers are needed. We consider rotational motions in addition to directional in our application. In a usability study with 15 subjects, we evaluate the recognition accuracy and reaction times of vibration patterns that include 1) directional and 2) rotational motion. Our results show that the directional pattern of two intermittent pulses was preferred by most subjects, even though it had slightly more recognition error than patterns with continuous vibrations. Rotational patterns were recognized by subjects with almost perfect accuracy. Average reaction time to all vibration patterns varied between 1 and 2 seconds. Our tactile belt design was found comfortable, but it was also found slightly noisy.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIEEE Haptics Symposium 2014
EditorsMarcia O’Malley, Seungmoon Choi
Place of PublicationPiscataway NJ USA
PublisherIEEE, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
Number of pages4
ISBN (Print)9781479931316
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes
EventIEEE Haptics Symposium (HAPTICS) 2014 - Houston, United States of America
Duration: 23 Feb 201426 Feb 2014

Publication series

NameIEEE Haptics Symposium
PublisherIEEE, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
ISSN (Print)2324-7347
ISSN (Electronic)2324-7355


ConferenceIEEE Haptics Symposium (HAPTICS) 2014
Abbreviated titleHAPTICS 2014
Country/TerritoryUnited States of America
Internet address


  • H.5.2 [User Interfaces]: Haptic I/O? Benchmarking
  • K.4.2 [Social Issues]: Assistive technologies for persons with disabilities?Navigation guidance

Cite this