Thesis Project

Using Haptics and Vibro-Tactile Technology to Assist Hard-of-Hearing Warehouse Employees

May 5, 2018

79% of warehouse and third-party logistics providers report they are unprepared for the skilled shortage, and additional sources suggest this may keep getting worse. (Labor Shortages in the Warehouse, 2017). 2 to 4 in every 1,000 people in United States suffer from a particular type of deafness which includes complete deafness, partial deafness, deafness due to age and veterans of military services who have experienced deafness during their time in war zones (Callis, L. L., 2015). Hard-of-hearing individuals are well acquainted and comfortable with the haptics with the sense of touch for communication (Harkins, J. et al., 2010). This thesis aimed at understanding the opportunities in how the hard-of-hearing employees can be a part of the skilled labor force of the warehouses which might require design intervention through haptics. The researcher conducted a field visit to the warehouse and interviewed the hard-of-hearing employees and the subject matter experts on the subject. With safety and communication emerging as the biggest hurdle for the hard-of-hearing a universal design intervention of push notification system using vibrotactile technology has been proposed so that the hard-of-hearing employees can be aware about the work environment and emergency situations in the warehouse. This social innovation not only makes hard-of-hearing more independent and safe but also help them explore different roles in warehouses.

Full Thesis Document

OhioLINK Acces

xdMFA Candidates must disseminate their research online in the Ohio Library and Information Network (OhioLINK) Electronic Theses and Dissertations repository. This thesis may be accessed at

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