PantoGuide: A Haptic and Audio Guidance System To Support Tactile Graphics Exploration

Elyse D. Z. Chase, Alexa F. Siu, Gene S-H Kim, Abena Boadi-Agyemang, Eric J. Gonzalez, and Sean Follmer

The ability to effectively read and interpret tactile graphics and charts is an essential part of a tactile learner’s path to literacy, but is a skill that requires instruction and training. Many teachers of the visual impaired (TVIs) report that blind and visually impaired students have trouble interpreting graphics independently without individual instruction. We present PantoGuide, a low-cost system that provides audio and haptic guidance, via skin-stretch feedback to the dorsum of a user’s hand while the user explores a tactile graphic overlaid on a touchscreen. This system allows programming of haptic guidance patterns and cues for tactile graphics that can be experienced by students learning remotely or that can be reviewed by a student independently. We propose two teaching scenarios (synchronous and asynchronous) and two guidance interactions (point-to-point and continuous) that the device can support – and demonstrate their use in a set of applications we co-design with one co-author who is blind and a tactile graphics user.

A user wearing the haptic guidance device, PantoGuide, and touching a tactile graphic of a bar chart that is placed on top of a touchscreen.