A Customizable Calculator Application with 3D-Printed Cover for the Visually Impaired in China

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Conference Proceeding

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To date, a wide variety of applications are developed and available in iTunes App Store, Google Play and Windows App Market. However, the visually impaired are still unable to enjoy most of them because of the non-optimized design of these applications for them. Though some mobile operating systems provide auditory assistive functions, slow and tedious interaction style lead to a poor user experience. Therefore, it is necessary to design specific applications for the visually impaired, providing not only basic functions, but a good user experience as well. To achieve the goal, in this research, we focused on a frequently implemented task on the mobile phones. Specifically, a Windows Phone calculator application for visually impaired has been designed. Similar to a typical calculator, it allows users to perform some basic calculations such as addition and multiplication. However, unlike typical calculators, it has a special layout and audio clues designed for the visually impaired. To complement the application, we have also designed a 3D-printed cover with holes on it, serving as the tactile interface for the application. The application is highly customizable so that users can reassign each button according to their preferences. The entire solution, including the Windows Phone calculator application and the 3D-printed cover, can provide visually impaired users the basic function of calculations as well as a rich user experience. With this solution, a considerable improvement with respect to the operational speed was found during a simulation test. A pilot experiment has been designed to test the working efficiency using blindfolded users.

Publication Title

Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing

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