Microsoft Researcher Looks to Accessibility Group for Help Making Devices Responsive to Senses

Microsoft researcher Hong Tan wants to make device screens more responsive to your touch, or tactile senses, and she is drawing inspiration and support from the Accessibility group.

Based in Microsoft Research Asia, Tan works on computer haptics, software and hardware that add tactile feedback, such as a clicking sensation when hitting a button on a screen or a sense of weight when dragging a folder, according to the story.  

“With sight alone, most people are perfectly fine interacting with computing devices today,” Tan says, “but how much more efficiently, how much more enjoyably, can we interact with computers? How much more accessible can we make them? We won’t know until this becomes taken for granted.”

Tan has started interacting closely with the Accessibility group at Microsoft, which provides her with insights into how blind people read maps, for example, or navigate a space. She also communicates with designers throughout the company on how haptics might help improve everyday interactions between people and their loved ones over a distance.

“My philosophy,” she says, “is to design something that’s so universal—that’s useful to everybody—that everybody benefits.”

Check out the whole story -- “Beyond Tapping and Sliding.”

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