Bending Blindly: Exploring the Learnability and Usability of Bend Gestures for the Visually Impaired

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Ernst, Matthew




This thesis explored the application of bend gestures as a primary method of interaction for the visually impaired and the use of haptic stimulus as non-visual affordances to assist in the teaching and prompting of bend gestures.

The first study explored this use of haptic stimulus and presented 48 tactons to participants who were asked to select one of three bend gesture locations and two directions they felt it represented. The second study compared the interaction experience of bend gestures in a visually impaired environment to touch.

We identify results from both studies that can help shape future research in this area of accessibility and potentially increase the overall interaction experience for screen reader based smartphones. The promising results around the pairing of the motor combination and intensity parameters in tacton design, in conjunction with preference for certain bend gestures, lays the foundation for future work in this area.


Computer Science
Health Sciences




Carleton University

Thesis Degree Name: 

Master of Applied Science: 

Thesis Degree Level: 


Thesis Degree Discipline: 

Human-Computer Interaction

Parent Collection: 

Theses and Dissertations

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