Vibrotactile vest for deafblind

A Communication Interface

Deafblindness is a serious condition caused by accidents, illnesses or genetic preconditions, often leaving the visually and auditorily impaired person in a state of anxiety and depression.

In the SUITCEYES project, we are addressing this issue and looking at ways of alleviating the distress it causes by enriching subjects’ experience in the form of enhanced enjoyment and recreation. We aim to do this by gamifying their everyday life.

Smart Wearables

With the goal being to create wearable smart textiles providing haptic feedback, we will be utilising a vest with vibrating actuators. This will create the platform for conducting a pilot study to explore and examine gamification features. We are planning to test various scenarios and investigate the barriers and benefits associated with gaming as the basis for setting guidelines on designing a gamified wearable.

Currently there a several haptic vests in development, each with an array of different capabilities. We are exploring these options and examining their viability for our first test scenario. Recently, we acquired the Hardlight VR vest and are now waiting for the SDK and documentation to arrive, so we can employ it for our first test scenario.

Mannequin with vest

Develop an own vest?

Another option we are considering, is creating our own vest. As part of this process, we met up with researchers from Darmstadt University of Technology in August who shared their findings and the experience they have had with vibrotactile wearables. This lead us to paying a visit to MAHLE International GmbH in Stuttgart who have assisted us on the electrical engineering side of developing a vest – a first step towards a functional prototype.

Once we have collected sufficient information about the feasibility of these approaches, the next step will be developing a first concrete test case for SUITCEYES.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *