Thursday, 20 November 2008

Related Work

I'm not involved in accessibility anymore, but did just come across some really interesting sounding work,

The first two from International Conference Series on
Disability, Virtual Reality and Associated Technologies
. I don't think the papers are available yet though.

Accessible virtual environments for people who are blind – creating an intelligent virtual cane using the Nintendo Wii controller, L Evett, D J Brown, S Battersby, A Ridley and P Smith, Nottingham Trent University, UK
People who are blind tend to adopt sequential, route-based strategies for moving around the world. Common strategies take the self as the main frame of reference, but those who perform better in navigational tasks use more spatial, map-based strategies. Training in such strategies can improve performance. Virtual Environments have great potential, both for allowing people who are blind to explore new spaces, reducing their reliance on guides, and aiding development of more efficient spatial maps and strategies. Importantly, Lahav and Mioduser have demonstrated that, when exploring virtual spaces, people who are blind use more and different strategies than when exploring real physical spaces, and develop relatively accurate spatial representations of them. The present paper describes the design, development and evaluation of a system in which a virtual environment may be explored by people who are blind using Nintendo Wii devices, with auditory and haptic feedback. Using this technology has many advantages, not least of which are that it is mainstream, readily available and cheap. The utility of the system for exploration and navigation is demonstrated. Results strongly suggest that it allows and supports the development of spatial maps and strategies. Intelligent support is discussed.
Virtual reality rehabilitation – what do users with disabilities want?, S M Flynn, B S Lange, S C Yeh and A A Rizzo, University of Southern California, USA
This paper will discuss preliminary findings of user preferences regarding video game and VR game-based motor rehabilitation systems within a physical therapy clinic for patients with SCI, TBI and amputation. The video game and VR systems chosen for this research were the Sony PlayStation® 2 EyeToy™, Nintendo® Wii™, and Novint® Falcon™ and an optical tracking system developed at the Institute for Creative Technologies at the University of Southern California. The overall goals of the current project were to 1) identify and define user preferences regarding the VR games and interactive systems; 2) develop new games, or manipulate the current USC-ICT games to address these user-defined characteristics that were most enjoyable and motivating to use; and 3) develop and pilot test a training protocol aimed to improve function in each of the three groups (TBI, SCI and amputation). The first goal of this research will be discussed in this paper.
And a presentation called "Serious Games for People with Physical and Cognitive Impairments"
Virtual Cane/Guide Dog
WiiMote can be used as a pointing device, and can give auditory, visual and haptic (it rumbles) feedback
Virtual cane – uses auditory and haptic feedback
Support with an intelligent agent which gives spoken warnings and advice
Combine to create a virtual guide dog
Another publication, though I'm not sure this paper's actually available yet either,
EVETT, L., RIDLEY, A., BATTERSBY, S. and BROWN, D., 2008. A Wiimote controlled interface to virtual environments for people who are blind - mental models and attentional demands . In: Interactive Technologies, Nottingham, November 2008 .