HaptiMap, Haptic, Audio and Visual Interfaces for Maps and Location Based Services, is a project which receives financial support from the European Commission in the Seventh Framework Programme, under the Cooperation Programme ICT – Information and Communication Technologies (Challenge 7 – Independent living and inclusion).
If you are walking or cycling, and don’t want to (or are unable to) spend most of the time focusing on a screen, the use of mobile devices tends to be a frustrating experience. The same is true in bright sunlight or if your eyesight just isn’t good enough to see every detail on the mobile screen.
The HaptiMap project is aimed at making maps and location based services more accessible by using several senses like touch, hearing and vision. Our end goal is to increase the number of persons who are able to use mainstream map services. Thus our user group contains both sighted persons and persons with visual impairments (including elderly persons).
Our strategy is twofold, firstly to develop tools that make it easier for developers to add adaptable multimodal components (designed to improve accessibility) into their applications and, secondly, to raise the awareness of these issues via new guidelines and to suggest extensions to existing design practices so that accessibility issues are considered throughout the design process.