Impression and Satisfaction of Color Perception of Painting Art Figures Utilizing Sound Pitches Through Touch-Screen Device for The Congenital Totally Blind

Sanchai Santiwes


The congenital totally blind had no experiences or memories about pictures and colors. They have never had an opportunity to touch and perceive 2D paintings. Even if they were able to touch the paintings, they would only perceive the textures while the materials and colors will be damaged. This research proposes a new technique by utilizing touch-screen technology and developing computer software. It encodes color values, which are RGB, to HLS model colors and pair many colors in degree to MIDI sound pitches of musical notes. It can help the blind perceive colors and shapes of a painting. The software is divided 2 parts, i.e. touching program for color and shape perception of painting, and painting software. When the blind touches a painting master piece, they will be able to explain, describe and criticize the painting. This technique makes possible for an art to communicate to everyone.
The research is a qualitative study and serves as a case study and an applied research. It was carried out with congenital blind participants who were studying in high schools. Since the study was in an initial phase, we started out with 12 colors and 12 sound pitches for basic testing. The participants were assigned to touch the paintings using touch-screen and perceive the sound pitches corresponding to the positions on the picture. It was found that the device was able to help the blind perceive the colors and shapes on the picture, which were represented by sound pitches of the musical notes. As a result, the participants were able to use their hearing to perceive vision. They could describe and criticize the composition, color and shape of the picture. Thus, these participants obtained the new experience, knowledge and imagination. In addition, they were also satisfied with this research activity since their color and shape perceptions of paintings were from good to excellent. Furthermore, they were able to draw and paint in color using this device.
The author has offered a useful computer-based technique for spatial and color information access for the blind. The 2D screen can give information about a 2D picture just by showing it in a simplified form. The colors are represented by pitches and triggered by touching the screen in,say, a green area of the picture. School-age blind participants in the study enjoyed learning and trying out the system.

Key Words: Color; Sound; Perception; Draw; Paint; Art; Blind; Computer

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