Woven Sensor Swatches by Blind and Visually Impaired People

Emilie Giles, 2014/15

The traditional approach for developing assistive technologies for blind and visually impaired users is to focus on problems and to try and resolve them by compensating for the loss of vision. In our research we took the approach of involving blind and visually impaired people, from a range of ages, in a hands-on making activity using an open eTextile physical computing toolkit. Our aim was to create an environment where people could both make and learn form each other, but also where they would share their thoughts and imagine future scenarios for the technologies they were developing. We observed highly creative ways of working at all levels, from unique weaving techniques to choices in fabrics and materials, as well as expressions of personal preferences. Here we show some of the sensors swatches made by our participants in the workshops.

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