Postdoctoral Fellow, Carnegie Mellon University
Non-Visual On-Body Interaction to Improve Accessibility of Mobile Devices for People with Visual Impairments
While mobile devices offer new opportunities to gain independence in everyday activities for people with disabilities, modern touchscreen-based interfaces can present accessibility challenges for low vision and blind users. Even with state-of-the-art screenreaders, it can be difficult or time-consuming to select specific items without visual feedback since the smooth surface of the touchscreen provides little tactile feedback compared to physical button-based phones.
To improve mobile device accessibility for people with visual impairments, I focus on investigating on-body interaction. It is an interaction technique which employs the user’s own skin surface as the input space, and thus provides extra tactile and proprioceptive feedback compared to a touchscreen.
I began by identifying users’ needs and preferences to understand the potential and design considerations for supporting accessible on-body interaction for people with visual impairments. Then, to show the potential of on-body interaction for supporting efficient non-visual interaction, I evaluated performance benefits of on-body input over touchscreen input in terms of speed and accuracy in target acquisition and shape drawing tasks. Building on these studies, I implemented a camera-based wearable system to demonstrate the feasibility of supporting efficient non-visual mobile computing via on-body interaction for people with visual impairments. Future directions of my research include supporting efficient access to physical objects and environments beyond digital computing devices.
Uran Oh is a PostDoctoral Fellow in the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University. As a research member of Cognitive Assistance Laboratory, she is currently working with Prof. Chieko Asakawa and Prof. Kris Kitani to improve real-world accessibility for people with visual impairments.
Her research interests in Human Computer Interaction (HCI) include always-available access to digital information and physical environment through mobile and wearable technology especially for users who are blind or with visual impairments.
She received my Ph.D. in Computer Science in 2016 from University of Maryland at College Park, advised by Prof. Leah Findlater.