I'm a Lecturer at Birmingham City University specialising in the area of Human-Computer Interaction and Assistive Technology. You can follow me on Twitter at @DrChrisCreed for updates around my research.
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This was an AHRC CATH funded project that I was the lead academic investigator on (in collaboration with The Hive and Pesky People) exploring the accessibility of interactive exhibits in public spaces.
We focused primarily on multi-touch tables that are increasingly being used in public spaces such as libraries, museums, and art galleries to provide engaging interactive experiences for the general public. Whilst they are generally simple and intutive to use, disabled people can experience significant difficulties when attempting to interact with them.
People in wheelchairs, for example, can find it difficult to access all of the content around a table typically due to the size of their chairs restricting ability to reach across a table. One potential solution we've been exploring is the use of mid-air gestures to select and manipulate content that is out-of-reach. This has become more feasible recently with the release of affordable sensors/devices (e.g. Leap Motion) which can track body movements and finger gestures.
The project involved developing a proof-of-concept and conducting a series of user studies with wheelchair users to evaluate the potential of this approach. The key research findings have been written up as a journal paper and are currently under review.
Chris Creed and Russell Beale (2014) Enhancing multi-touch table accessibility for wheelchair users. Proceedings of the 16th International ACM SIGACCESS Conference on Computers & Accessibility, New York.