OS-level surface haptics for touch-screen accessibility

Suhong Jin, Joe Mullenbach, Craig Shultz, Ed Colgate, Anne Marie Piper

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

5 Scopus citations


The TPad Tablet combines an Android tablet with a variable friction haptic touch-screen and offers many novel interaction possibilities. For example, unique textures may be associated with different user interface elements, such as text boxes and buttons. This paper presents an Android Accessibility Service that was created to give operating system-wide (OS) access to haptic effects. Prior to this work, the haptic feedback of the TPad could be controlled only from within specific applications. With the new implementation, all applications and primary user interfaces (e.g. home screen) will have access to the TPad. Rather than focus on specific elements or applications, we seek to provide a high fidelity haptic experience that elevates the TPad's accessibility to the standard of Talkback and Voiceover, Android's and Apple's accessibility programs respectively. The code for the application is available on our website.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationASSETS14 - Proceedings of the 16th International ACM SIGACCESS Conference on Computers and Accessibility
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery, Inc
Number of pages2
ISBN (Electronic)9781450327206
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014
Event16th International ACM SIGACCESS Conference on Computers and Accessibility, ASSETS 2014 - Rochester, United States
Duration: Oct 20 2014Oct 22 2014


Other16th International ACM SIGACCESS Conference on Computers and Accessibility, ASSETS 2014
CountryUnited States


  • Accessibility
  • Surface haptics
  • Tablet
  • Touchscreen
  • Variable friction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Software
  • Hardware and Architecture

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