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HindustanTimes Fri,29 Aug 2014

Science

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Now, vibrating gloves to teach braille
PTI
London, June 23, 2014
First Published: 10:34 IST(23/6/2014)
Last Updated: 10:35 IST(23/6/2014)
Researchers have created smartgloves that can help the blind learn braille through vibrations.
 
The gloves created by researchers at Georgia Tech in the US have vibrating motors at the knuckle of each finger. When one of them vibrates, the wearer presses the corresponding key, and audio feedback tells them what letter they are typing.
 
In tests, a group of people who had never used Braille before wore the gloves while typing a set phrase. The group was then distracted by playing a game for 30 minutes.
 
During this time, half of the participants' gloves kept pulsing in time to continuing audio cues, a concept called passive haptic learning, which has also been used to teach piano in the past, 'New Scientist' reported.
 
The pulses stopped for the rest of the group, while the audio carried on.
 
Researchers found that those who received the passive haptic training were much more adept than those who didn't, making 30 % fewer errors.
 
They remembered and could read more than 70 % of the Braille phrase, while the control group only managed 22 %.

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