Use Octopus Launcher Like Your Hands: Joystick-based Smartphone Control Solution for Motor Impaired People in Electric Wheelchairs
The rapid spread of smartphones based on touch interfaces is now playing a serious role in the digital divide to the physically disabled, especially to people with motor impairments. Motor impairments often result in muscle weakness, poor stamina, lack of muscle control, or total paralysis making it hard to fine- control fingers, which is essential to touch interactions. Through observation and in-depth interviews, we reached a design decision that an electric wheelchair joystick is a very viable interface device for users with motor impairments. Based on the findings, we developed Octopus Launcher, which is a solution to help motor impaired users to utilize smartphones by controlling the cursor on the smartphone screen using the joystick. Octopus Launcher takes advantage of the eight directional controls of a joystick readily equipped in electric wheelchairs. The launcher is designed to control various touch interactions as well as hardware buttons by use of a joystick on a wheelchair. Octopus Launcher is an interaction framework that enables many disabled people who can use the eight-direction joystick to control a smartphone.