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Motivations behind the Project

There are several key motivations behind the HaptiComm Project. These motivations cover a broad spectrum of areas that have an impact on people who ar Deafblind as well as more general applications in haptic feedback.

 

1.      Access to communication for Deafblind individuals
Undoubtedly our main motivation is to allow for Deafblind individuals to have freedom of access to communication. People often take it for granted that they have (generally) uninhibited access to ready communication through their vision and hearing which allows them to readily partake in community, social groups and be actively independent for their daily needs. Deafblind individuals face this challenge on a daily basis with limited ability to easily interact with a world heavily dependant on visual and auditory information channels. HaptiComm hopes to alleviate some of this difficulty by allowing for greater access to information in a channel readily accessible to them, the channel of touch and tactile sensation which offers a very rich medium.

2.      Interpreter availability
While it would be nice to believe that HaptiComm could be succesful enough to replace a human interpreter it is a very unrealistic goal. Devices such as HaptiComm can attempt to reproduce the natural sensations of an interpreter but it isa struggle to replicate the sheer depth of information an interpreter can portray in a haptic format. However, the Deaf community and to a much larer extent, the Deafblind community currently experiences a drastic shortage of interpreter availability. The project hopes to lighten this issue by allowing for the HaptiComm to be used in more informal environments and/or circumstances where an interpreter is not available at short notice.

3.      Physical strain and interpreter burnout
The amount of physical contact required to maintain continual communication in haptic channels are extremely tiring and physical straining. Intrpreters and Deafblind individuals who attempt to partake in high levels of social and community immersion or other activities that require extended periods of interpreting often complain of pain in the shoulders, elbows, wrists and fingers. HaptiComm hopes to augment the interpreters communication and allow for more breaks for them and to place the Deafblind persons hand(s) in a more comfortable position to allow them to continue to receive information while not straining their limbs any further.

4.      Greater depth in haptic immersion
Haptics has a fairly long and extensive history but society in general hanít been fully exposed to the world of tactile technologies. Most people think of their mobile phone when we discuss haptic feedback and its capacity to buzz in your pocket when its in silent mode. While some of the patterns used for vibrations and their intensities can be modified in these devices, haptics has typically been an on/off solution. HaptiComm allows for a much broader application and modifiability of its sensation generation allowing for greater levels of immersion.

 

 

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Last Modified: August 8th, 2018