THEO – Tactile aid

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Tactile aid for the visually impaired. – We live in a visual world. Capturing all the 3d information with our eyes, we mainly focus on the visual sense. Blind and visually impaired people depend on different senses. In addition to the aural sense the tactile sense plays a major role for spatial orientation. For this purpose, THEO provides an intelligent interface solution.


 

Research & Case Studies


Working with affected people was the main part in the research. This was the only way to get real insights of their world. For an outstanding person it´s very difficult to realise what it means to be visually impaired. Even for people with a egenerative eye-disease or sudden blindness it takes years to become to get accustomed.

It took me three month to get all the insights I needed. Nevertheless it is all subjective and every persons´ disease is different and leads to various needs for a visual aid.

martin_pabis__Gucci looking forward and canes

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325.000.000 Visually Impaired Worldwide

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This embossed, tactile picture at the „Kunsthistorische Museum Wien“ revealed some real issues in the perception for that kind of illustration.

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Concept



The basic idea was to implement the tactile-feedback Technology into a common consumer good. This technology simulates textures on a plain surface only by electrical charge. It´s in an early stage of development but involves high potential for the usage in visual aid-devices. The work with affected people showed me a bunch of possible fields of application.
After gathering the most important informations and devoloping first ideas, I started with a mind-map that helped me in further design steps and decision making. On this big sheet of paper I wrote down all possible scenarios and separated them into three categories: HumanEnvironmentTechnology.
Due to combining technology with the scenarios, it became obvious that there are a lot of scopes of application for a tactile feedback device.
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Design



At this point i started to develop a multi-part shell for a common smart-phone with all the parts necessary to become a tactile device. The result was an easy to assemble mobile phone accessory called „THEO“.

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Field of Applications


All the texture is only for visualization and would not be visible on the device.





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Category: Industrial Design - Diploma Thesis Customer: UAS Graz Date: 2011