Mitsubishi Electric Co-develops Touch-based Interface for Remote Controls to Enable Both Blind and Non-blind to Easily Operate Devices

Mitsubishi Electric Corporation announced that together with a school for the visually impaired it has designed an experimental remote-control interface that enables people to easily operate equipment by using their sense of touch to recognize the intuitive shapes and movements of various controls. 

The experimental remote-control interface for air conditioners was developed as a case study with the cooperation of teachers and students at a school for the visually impaired. The same principles of matching heights, shapes, etc. that the students learn at the school were adopted in developing the new interface. The unique interface uses distinctive shapes, positions and movements to signify the air conditioner's different modes and the status and operation of each function, enabling visually impaired people to easily confirm and adjust settings. 

When visually impaired people use consumer products, they often encounter problems with not being able to understand the shapes or layouts of operational controls, such as remote-control buttons arranged on a smooth horizontal plane. The company believes that it can contribute to a more affluent society by expanding the range of people who can easily use consumer products. 

Going forward, Mitsubishi Electric will continue researching innovative interfaces that can be operated by using human senses in creative ways, ultimately for application in products and systems such as consumer appliances and industrial equipment.