We conducted a study to explore whether DualPanto enables blind users to interact with motion in spatial virtual environments. Participants played the 1-on-1 soccer game and reported on their experience. We recruited six participants (ages 14-45, 1 woman) who had visual impairments. Participants’ self-reported level of vision was between completely blind and 16% in one eye. Participants played one or more matches against a trained player (one of the researchers) for 3-10 minutes and then provided their feedback in an interview.
DualPanto enabled spatial awareness of the game state
DualPanto enabled continuous interaction with moving objects. All six participants tracked their opponent and responded to their location, either to pass to them during practice (P2-6) or to shoot past them during gameplay (P1,2,4-6): “yes I could definitely move the player to the ball and everything” (P4). Participants could detect opponents’ actions across the field: P3 remarked, “that was on my goal” when our trained player scored, and P5 noted when our trained player scored on his own net: “own goal?”
Inclusive multiplayer experiences
Participants were surprised and excited about the prospect of multiplayer experiences: “[multiplayer] is really significant, I have fun crushing people” (P3), “ah, cool that there are 2 players” (P4). Participants also requested more multiplayer capabilities: “it would be interesting to have more than 2 players” (P3).
DualPanto as an interactive audio-haptic gaming console
Audio provided context and engaged: “I like…that you can instantly hear sounds, I really like it” (P2). More sounds could improve the experience: “it could be better if more sounds were added” (P1), suggesting cheers and gasps from the crowd and sound effects from blind soccer.
Haptic feedback complemented the context provided by audio. Participants thought the combination could work for different games: “you could explore levels with force feedback and show the next enemy with the it-handle, story is about audio anyways, so yeah I could imagine this working well for role play games” (P3). Adding haptics improved interactivity: “[another game] has different story lines that you can go into, but you always have to wait” (P4).