Multi-sensory user interface technologies as effective assistive devices
A project led by Ph.D. Assistant professor Marjatta Kangassalo and Professor Roope Raisamo is developing a learning environment that can be used by both normally seeing and vision impaired children. Until now, vision impaired children have been at a disadvantage compared to normally seeing children. Teaching programmes developed for general use have not been of any help because they rely heavily on pictorial and text-based forms of expression. New user interface technologies now allow these programmes to be used by the seeing impaired. Kangassalo and Raisamo’s project is a part of the Proactive Computing Research Programme (PROACT) funded by the Academy of Finland.
Teaching programmes developed in the project are mainly directed at preschool and elementary school children. So-called proactive intelligent agents monitor a child’s computer use, and aim to provide support and guidance when needed. Multi-sensory user interface technologies, especially touch and voice feedback, enable computer use and learning even when the user can’t see the applications. When a child is vision impaired or normally seeing, the visual feedback supports the information provided by touch and voice feedback. The learning applications deal with natural and astronomical phenomena.
Terhi Loukiainen | alfa
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