Current displays for the blind struggle to display spatial information. To interactively make sense of complex spatial data, users must often resort to text-focused technology, like Braille displays or screen readers. We previously presented Linespace, a sensemaking platform for the blind - a large interactive tactile display using lines as its primitive, where users can interactively feel glyphs, lines, and textures and hear audio feedback.
We now build on Linespace’s initial proof-of-concept with Linepod, a portable, interactive, 2-D spatial tactile display. Linepod interactively prints high-quality tactile lines to swell paper, senses touch input, and provides interactive audio feedback. Linepod is self-contained, able to run on battery power.
We demonstrate Linepod through several demonstrative sensemaking applications, including a tactile web browser, displaying tactile outlines of websites to facilitate screen-reading; a camera application, including filter-based editing; and minesweeper, to show the potential for game-based problem solving.