Hands-free Devices for Displaying Speech and Language in the Tactile Modality - Methods and Approaches

Astrid M.L. Kappers (Corresponding author), Myrthe A. Plaisier (Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
51 Downloads (Pure)


Communication is an essential part of human life. In this survey we give an overview of hands-free tactual devices that have been developed and tested for conveying speech or language. We opted for hands-free because especially in the case of individuals with impaired vision, in many situations their hands will be occupied with other essential tasks. We start this survey with presenting the various word building blocks that have been tested. These blocks vary from units based on the actual speech signal, via patterns representing phonemes, to letters, or letters coded via Morse or Braille-like patterns. In the second part of this survey, studies that use these building blocks to create words are discussed. General findings are that successful devices do not necessarily depend on underlying speech characteriscs, dynamic patterns give better results than static patterns, and more vibrators do not generally give better results. Moreover, some of the most successful devices required only limited training time. Most of the recent devices are still in a quite early state of development and are tested only with a limited number of patterns. However, many of these recent devices give promising results and are worthwhile to further investigate and develop.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9325066
Pages (from-to)465-478
Number of pages14
JournalIEEE Transactions on Haptics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2021


  • Language
  • Letters
  • Morse.
  • Phonemes
  • Speech
  • Words


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