Social interactions mediate our communication with others, enable development and maintenance of personal and professional relationships, and contribute greatly to our health. While both verbal cues (i.e., speech) and non-verbal cues (e.g., facial expressions, hand gestures, and body language) are exchanged during social interactions, the latter encompasses more information (~65%). Given their inherent visual nature, non-verbal cues are largely inaccessible to individuals who are blind, putting this population at a social disadvantage compared to their sighted peers. For individuals who are blind, embarrassing social situations are not uncommon due to miscommunication, which can lead to social avoidance and isolation. In this paper, we propose a mapping between visual facial expressions, represented as facial action units, which may be extracted using computer vision algorithms, to haptic (vibrotactile) representations, toward discreet and real-time perception of facial expressions during social interactions by individuals who are blind.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSmart Multimedia - 1st International Conference, ICSM 2018, Revised Selected Papers
EditorsStefano Berretti, Anup Basu
PublisherSpringer Verlag
Number of pages12
ISBN (Print)9783030043742
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018
Event1st International Conference on Smart Multimedia, ICSM 2018 - Toulon, France
Duration: Aug 24 2018Aug 26 2018

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume11010 LNCS
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Other1st International Conference on Smart Multimedia, ICSM 2018


  • Assistive technology
  • Facial action units
  • Sensory substitution
  • Social assistive aids
  • Visual-to-tactile mapping

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Computer Science(all)


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