OS-Level Surface Haptics for Touch-Screen Accessibility

TitleOS-Level Surface Haptics for Touch-Screen Accessibility
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsJin, S., J. Mullenbach, C. Shultz, J. E. Colgate, and A. Marie Piper
Conference NameASSETS
Conference LocationRochester, NY

The TPad Tablet combines an Android tablet with a variable friction haptic touch-screen and offers many novel interaction possibilities. For example, unique textures may be associated with different user interface elements, such as text boxes and buttons. This paper presents an Android AccessibilityService that was created to give operating system-wide (OS) access to haptic effects. Prior to this work, the haptic feedback of the TPad could be controlled only from within specific applications. With the new implementation, all applications and primary user interfaces (e.g. home screen) will have access to the TPad. Rather than focus on specific elements or applications, we seek to provide a high fidelity haptic experience that elevates the TPad’s accessibility to the standard of Talkback and Voiceover, Android’s and Apple’s accessibility programs respectively. The code for the application is available on our website. 

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