HALOS tactile icons

 

HALOS stands for Home Appliance Label and Overlay System. The concept was created from a crowd-funded experiment to test tactile appliance overlays for the visually impaired. We discovered there is a need to standardize tactile cues and provide helpful tactile labels for people to locate and identify buttons on their home appliances.

The HALOS products are stickers that adhere directly to your appliance control panel.  We offer six HALOS products in multiple colors.  Each package is described on this page.  For a fun introduction to the HALOS products, listen or watch our explainer video below.

Microwave

 

Our most popular package.  We have icons for the most common controls - start, stop, add time, power level.  We also added a few convenience icons - popcorn, potato and frozen pizza. 

The package contains two sets of nine tactile icons for a total of 18 stickers.  The colors are: high contrast orange, black, clear, and multicolor.

Includes: Start, Stop/Cancel, Power Level, Add Time, Popcorn, Frozen Pizza, Potato, Defrost, Cook Time

microwave with black tactile icons
microwave with black tactile icons

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microwave with orange tactile icons
microwave with orange tactile icons

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HALOS orange tactile icon package
HALOS orange tactile icon package

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microwave with black tactile icons
microwave with black tactile icons

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Start tactile icon
Cancel/Stop - the shape is an X
Power Level - the shape is like a staircase, increasing from left to right.
Add Time - the shape is a plus sign
Popcorn tactile icon - the shape is curvy and bulbous like a popcorn kernal
Pizza tactile icon - the shape is a triangle with a rough edge on the upper left representing a slice of pizza with a rough crusty edge.  Yum!
Potato tactile icon - the shape is oval with a rough top like a baked potato.
Defrost tactile icon - the shape is like a water droplet, pointy on the top and circular on the bottom.
Timer - the shape is like an hourglass, wide at the top, narrow in the middle and wide at the bottom.

Oven/Cooker

 

The oven package labels ovens and cookers. 

 

Many oven/cooker control panels have moved away from dials.  These tactile icons can help!  With these labels you won't confuse bake and broil and it is easy to locate the most important button - stop/cancel.   

 

The package contains two sets of nine tactile icons for a total of 18 stickers.  The colors are: high contrast orange, black, clear, and multicolor.

Includes:  Start, Stop/Cancel, Bake, Broil, Up/Increase, Down/Decrease, Timer, Clock and Clean.

oven with orange tactile icons
oven with orange tactile icons

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oven with multicolor tactile icons
oven with multicolor tactile icons

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oven tactile icon banner
oven tactile icon banner

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oven with orange tactile icons
oven with orange tactile icons

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start-3d.png
Cancel/Stop - the shape is an X
Bake tactile icon - the shape is a horizontal line with ridges on the top and the bottom.
Broil tactile icon - the shape is a horizontal line with ridges on the bottom
Up arrow - the shape is pointy at the top and wide at the bottom.
Down arrow - the shape is pointy at the bottom and wide at the top.
Timer - the vertical shape is wide at the top, narrow at the middle and wide at the bottom.
Clock - the shape is a filled circle with a notch at the upper right.
Clean tactile icon - the shape is a diamond, pointy at the top, bottom, right and left.

Washing Machine

 

Common buttons on washing machines.  Many icons also apply to common dryer features.  

The package contains two sets of nine tactile icons for a total of 18 stickers.  The colors are: high contrast orange, black, clear, and multicolor.

Includes: Start, Stop/Cancel, Heavy, Normal, Light, Temperature, Rinse, Spin, Soil Level. 

start-3d.png
Cancel/Stop - the shape is an X
Heavy load - the shape is a bin that is full
Normal load - the shape is a bin that is half full.
Light load - the shape is a bin that is empty.
Temperature - the shape is a vertical line with a small circle on the bottom.
Rinse tactile icon - the shape is supposed to represent a showerhead.  Does that work for you?
Spin tactile icon - the shape is a curved line, representing something that goes around.
Soil level tactile icon - the shape has three vertical bars increasing in height from left to right.
washer with orange tactile icons
washer with orange tactile icons

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washer with orange tactile icons
washer with orange tactile icons

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HALOS washer tactile icon banner
HALOS washer tactile icon banner

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washer with orange tactile icons
washer with orange tactile icons

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Home Package

The HALOS tactile icon combination package labels many appliances in your home, not just your kitchen.  74 tactile icon stickers in this package!  


The Home package contains four groups of tactile icons - starts and stops, cleaning/washing, cooking, and a keypad package. The Home package is available in high contrast orange, black or clear.  

HALOS Home Package banner
HALOS Home Package banner

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HALOS Home Package product pictures
HALOS Home Package product pictures

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HALOS Home Package banner
HALOS Home Package banner

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Starts and Stops

 

Common buttons found on various appliances throughout your home - such as your entertainment system, computers, and climate controller. This group of 20 stickers includes the following tactile icons (quantity) - start (6), stop/clear (6), on/off (4), timer (2), clock (2)

start-3d.png
Cancel/Stop - the shape is an X
onoffCircleLine 3d.png
timer-3d.png
clock 3d.png

Cooking

 

This group works well on ovens and microwaves. Included are: bake/roast, broil, convection, warming, defrost, increase, decrease, auto/smart mode, power level, light. The package contains two of each icon.

bakeRoast 3D.png
broil 3d.png
convect 3d.png
dry-Medium 3d.png
defrost-3d.png
star 3d.png
Add Time - the shape is a plus sign
minus 3d.png
Power Level - the shape is like a staircase, increasing from left to right.
light 3d.png

Washing

 

Use for washers, dishwashers and dryers. Included are: heavy load, normal load, light load, hot, medium temperature, cold, temperature, auto/smart mode, rinse, spin. The package contains two of each icon.

BinHeavy 3d .png
binNormal.png
BinLight 3d.png
hotFlame 3d.png
warm 3d.png
coldSnowflake 3d.png
temperature 3d.png
star 3d.png
rinseShowerHead 3d.png
spin3d.png

Keypad

 

The keypad package labels numeric buttons.  Appliances typically have standard number layouts.  The most common is 4x3 (four rows and 3 columns), like a telephone keypad.  Another layout we encounter is the 2x5 (two rows and 5 columns) grid.

  

The package contains 12 flat round stickers and 2 domed round stickers. The domed stickers identify the central number on your keypad.  The central number is also known as the anchor.  It is the most prominent sticker in our collection and easily identified by touch.  The other number buttons are located relative to the anchor.

If the keypad is a 4x3 layout, use the anchor sticker on the 5 button.  To find the 2 button, locate the anchor sticker which is 5, and move up one.  To find the 7 button, locate the anchor sticker, move down one and one position to the left.  Easy!  

If the keypad is a 2x5 layout, use the anchor sticker on the 3 key.  With this layout, the 2 button is left of the anchor.   The 8 button is directly below the anchor and the 7 button is to the left of the 8.    

keypad tactile icons in 4x3 layout
keypad tactile icons in 4x3 layout

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keypad tactile icons in 2x5 layout
keypad tactile icons in 2x5 layout

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HALOS keypad banner
HALOS keypad banner

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keypad tactile icons in 4x3 layout
keypad tactile icons in 4x3 layout

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Custom Labels

 

A custom set of HALOS tactile icons! We started custom labeling so you could access all your appliance features, not just the tactile icons listed in our predefined packages. Along the way people have requested labels for other equipment such as exercise equipment. So make a request - we will try to label anything that needs tactile identification. 


The custom set is made from the clear material. The package includes the tactile icons, a map identifying the icon positions on the control panel, and instructions to apply the icons.

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How to order custom labels

 

  1. Send a picture of the control panel plus the make and model of the appliance to tangibleSurfaceResearch@gmail.com

  2. We will evaluate the appliance and email you a quote

  3. If you accept the quote, send us your mailing address and we will send you a paypal invoice. You can pay with a paypal account or a credit card.

  4. We make the custom set, most likely within 2-4 days. We mail the package through USPS with tracking. Shipping in the US is usually $4.50.

If you have any questions, send us a note! Contact us

Shopping cart tactile icon - the shape is square with a line extending up at the upper left and rounded corners in the lower right and lower left.  Like a shopping cart!

Where to purchase

Many options to purchase the HALOS tactile icons

LS&S - Light, Sight and Sound  all tactile icons except multicolor 

Independent Living Aids  all tactile icons except multicolor

MaxiAids  Microwave, Oven, Washer packages in orange and black

HALOSystem Etsy store - all tactile icon packages!

 

Collaborations
 

"Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much." 

Helen Keller

 

The tactile icons have been further developed with the incredible support of the following people:

  • Three visually impaired advisers, Kay R, Kirstyn S and Lisa H.  Sadly the cancer that took Lisa's sight when she was young also took her life when she was in her 50s.  We miss her  

  • Deborah Beardslee, Professor in the School of Design, Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT)

 

  • RIT students in Professor Beardslee's 2015 Information Design Class,

 

  • Emma Echols, RIT Graphic Design Student as part of an independent study (2016)

 

  • Olin College of Engineering students Anisha, Sean, and Kim and their subject matter expert Jerry for improved descriptions of the tactile icons. (2018)