Wednesday, June 11, 2008

MICOLE: Open-source multi-modal software supports cooperative learning among sighted and visually impaired children

According to an article on the ICT Results website, a project called "MICOLE" explores the ways multi-modal computing can support co-operative learning among sighted and visually impaired children by harnessing the sense of touch through haptic input devices, and providing a means to produce pictures that can be felt.

This is a quote from the article:
“Adding the sense of touch to information and communication technology is just getting to the point where it can be commercialised,” Raisamo continues. “The first people to benefit are people with disabilities, especially people who are blind or have visual impairment. The more senses you can use, the more multi-modal your computer interface, the more inclusive the technology can be.”Students colloborate in hands on learning the Micole way. Photo: © Micole project.

MICOLE stands for Multimodal Collaboration Environment for Inclusion of Visually Impaired Children.

MICOLE is an open-source project. You can download the software and SDK (MICOLELib) from the website. There also is an on-line support forum and a list of publications.

From the MICOLE project website:
"The work in the MICOLE project aims at developing a system that supports collaboration, data exploration, communication and creativity of visually impaired and sighted children. In addition to the immediate value as a tool the system will have societal implications through improved inclusion of the visually disabled in education, work, and society in general. While the main activity is the construction of the system, several other supporting activities are needed, especially empirical research of collaborative and cross-modal haptic interfaces for visually impaired children."

According to an article about MICOLE on the
Axistive website:

"Among the interfaces and application prototypes that have been developed are an electronic browser, rhythm reproduction, Post-It notes with a haptic bar code, virtual maracas (percussion instruments), a tactile maze game, memory games, a haptic version of Pong and explorative learning of the internal layers of the earth."


Hands on Learning for the Visually Impaired

Multisensory User Interface

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