Beta 1

Title Analyzing and Conceptualizing IT Interfaces for Disabled with Limited Movement in their Hands
Author Tjørnelund, Daniel B.
Supervisor Brodersen, Søsser (Innovation and Sustainability, Department of Management Engineering, Technical University of Denmark, DTU, DK-2800 Kgs. Lyngby, Denmark)
Conrad, Finn (Engineering Design and Product Development, Department of Management Engineering, Technical University of Denmark, DTU, DK-2800 Kgs. Lyngby, Denmark)
Institution Technical University of Denmark, DTU, DK-2800 Kgs. Lyngby, Denmark
Thesis level Bachelor thesis
Year 2009
Abstract This Bachelor project has for aim, to set clear guidelines for the design and construction of IT interfaces intended to be used by disabled with limited movement capabilities in their hands. The analysis is based on empirical data collected from relevant populations, and written material from journals and articles describing research done in relevant fields of science and medicine. The initial step towards this project was taken when Bjarke Rasmussen, a private person suffering from tetraplegia, requested DTU’s Science Shop, lead by Søsser Brodersen, to help developing a computer interface that meets his needs as a disabled person. The conclusions presented in this project are the first step in developing, a financially viable product, that answers the needs of a wider population of people disabled in their hands. Other steps, to come after this project, lie in the hands of other engineering students to come. IT interfaces, which the product in question derives from, are linking bricks between humans and the high tech machines that, ever growingly, take a leading part in our modern life. Computer interfaces, mainly joysticks and controllers used in relation to gaming consoles are a very popular and widely known example of these IT interfaces, still disabled with limited functionality in their hands find these interfaces not suitable for their needs. Surprisingly, most disabled cannot find a suitable alternative to ordinary IT interfaces in the market of specially designed interfaces, simply because there are no interfaces that look and operate in a conventional way, which take in account the special needs of those disabled. That is just what disabled, like Bjarke Rasmussen want: an ordinary looking interface, that is operated with the hands and fingers but still takes into account that their movement capabilities in the hands and fingers is limited. The gaming industry is enormous, with a total global annual revenue of about 40 billion $ and a very healthy growth rate. IT interfaces are a part of the gaming market and thus account for a proportionally large market. Analysis of the IT interfaces market, done in this project, shows that the related market of computer interfaces for disabled has a moderate-good potential. This recognition has large implications on the development of the interfaces, primarily because it emphasises the importance of designing products that cover a large part, if not all of the disabled needs. An analysis of the disabled users needs and limitations is consequently done as to clarify and reduce them to their lowest common factor. The process of finding the market forces and analysing the users needs points to a flexible design as a possible solution, and a closer look at existing products and related technologies leads me to suggest guidelines to the design & construction of IT interfaces for disabled. Amongst these guidelines, are the following major ones: • The product must be mass customized. • Partnership, with a major player in the gaming industry should be sought, from start. • The hardware design should be flexible in its array. • “Intelligent” Software should follow with the product as to allow optimal adaptation to the user.
Pages 83
Original PDF A_C_IT_interfaces_for_disabled.pdf (1.02 MB)
Admin Creation date: 2009-02-20    Update date: 2011-09-19    Source: dtu    ID: 239150    Original MXD