New Gloves Teach Users Braille While They Perform Other Tasks

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New Gloves Teach Users Braille While They Perform Other Tasks
Researchers have created wearable computing technology to help people learn how to read and write Braille - while doing something else.

People wearing the gloves done not have to pay to attention to the learning task.

"The process is based on passive haptic learning (PHL)," said Thad Starner, a Georgia Institute of Technology professor and wearable computer technology pioneer.

In their new study, each participant wore a pair of gloves with tiny vibrating motors stitched into the knuckles.

The motors vibrated in a sequence that corresponded with the typing pattern of a pre-determined phrase in Braille.

Audio cues let the users know the Braille letters produced by typing that sequence.

Afterwards, everyone tried to type the phrase once, without the cues or vibrations, on a keyboard.

The sequences were then repeated during a distraction task. Participants played a game for 30-minutes and were told to ignore the gloves.

Half of the participants felt repeated vibrations and heard the cues. The others only heard the audio cues.

When the game finished, the participants tried to type the phrase without wearing the gloves.

"Those in the control group did about the same on their second attempt (as they did in their pre-study baseline test)," said Starner.

"But participants who felt the vibrations during the game were a third more accurate. Some were even perfect," he revealed.

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