Haptic Image Exploration

Title: Haptic Image Exploration
Authors: Lareau, David
Date: 2012
Abstract: The haptic exploration of 2-D images is a challenging problem in computer haptics. Research on the topic has primarily been focused on the exploration of maps and curves. This thesis describes the design and implementation of a system for the haptic exploration of photographs. The system builds on various research directions related to assistive technology, computer haptics, and image segmentation. An object-level segmentation hierarchy is generated from the source photograph to be rendered haptically as a contour image at multiple levels-of-detail. A tool for the authoring of object-level hierarchies was developed, as well as an innovative type of user interaction by region selection for accurate and efficient image segmentation. According to an objective benchmark measuring how the new method compares with other interactive image segmentation algorithms shows that our region selection interaction is a viable alternative to marker-based interaction. The hierarchy authoring tool combined with precise algorithms for image segmentation can build contour images of the quality necessary for the images to be understood by touch with our system. The system was evaluated with a user study of 24 sighted participants divided in different groups. The first part of the study had participants explore images using haptics and answer questions about them. The second part of the study asked the participants to identify images visually after haptic exploration. Results show that using a segmentation hierarchy supporting multiple levels-of-detail of the same image is beneficial to haptic exploration. As the system gains maturity, it is our goal to make it available to blind users.
URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10393/20556
CollectionThèses, 2011 - // Theses, 2011 -
Lareau_David_2012_thesis.pdfMaster's Thesis 201213.92 MBAdobe PDFOpen