Paths to Literacy

for students who are blind or visually impaired

Vibrating Glove May Help Users to Learn Braille

Vibrating glove

Researchers at Georgia Tech have designed vibrating gloves that help users to read braille. The glove has a special fingertip designed to improve the wearer's sense of touch. Applying a small vibration to the side of the fingertip improves tactile sensitivity and motor performance, according to their research results.  The research team conducted a series of studies, the most astonishing of which divided users into two groups for a 30-minute lesson in writing braille while wearing the glove. The test group was asked to focus on the task at hand and the control group was asked to play unrelated video games during the lesson.

Among participants, who had no prior knowledge of the language, even those who were playing video games during their lesson were able to write braille.  "Remarkably, we found that people could transfer knowledge learned from typing Braille to reading Braille," said Ph.D. student Caitlyn Seim. "After the typing test, passive learners were able to read and recognize more than 70 percent of the phrase's letters."
The study was funded by the National Science Foundation.