Working in collaboration with Orientation and Mobility staff at the Carroll Center for the Blind, Touch Graphics and staff from the IDEA Center at SUNY Buffalo have created a new kind of way-finding system that may prove to be of great value to the Center’s students. The Carroll Center’s new interactive touchable campus map, now installed and function at Carroll’s Tech Center, features a scale model of the suburban Boston campus. Those learning to navigate the environment are encouraged to touch the model; as they do, a computer senses their touches and offers helpful descriptions and way-finding information for each building and landscape feature. This new kind of directory system was produced from organic materials using a 3D Printer. Touches are detected by embedded electrodes connected to a multichannel sensor. Other developers wishing to build their own talking tactile models should contact Touch Graphics to inquire about purchasing sensor units.
The work is being carried out by Touch Graphics in partnership with the IDEA Center, part of the University of Buffalo’s School of Architecture, and is supported by a generous R&D grant from the Robert Noyce Foundation.
Read the final report.