Experimental study on shapes of tactile signs for distinguishable identification on body soap containers

Kouki Doi, Takahiro Nishimura, Tsutomu Wada, Hiroshi Fujimoto, Yasuyuki Hoshikawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Japanese Industry Standards (JIS) S 0021 (Packaging - Accessible Design - General Requirements) indicate the design policy for easy-to-use packaging and containers, targeting various individuals including elderly persons and individuals with disabilities. The JIS S 0021 includes tactile signs that are necessary to ensure the ease of distinguishing and handling as well as the ease of using those packaging and containers. The JIS S 0021 prescribes tactile signs on shampoo containers and notches for beverage paper packaging containers as tactile signs to distinguish the contents of the package and to differentiate between containers with the same or similar shapes. The policy was expanded to include tactile signs for body soaps when the standard was amended in 2014, and this was attributed to the fact that organizations of visually impaired demanded tactile signs for body soap, since body soap is often packaged in containers with shapes similar to those for shampoos and hair conditioners. Hence, tactile signs prescribed for body soap in JIS S 0021 guidelines were recently expanded to commercially available body soap containers. In the present study, experiments were performed to study the shapes of tactile signs for distinguishable body soap container. Specifically, shapes were studied through the following two steps: 1) tactile signs were selected based on experiments to evaluate the ease of distinguishing between multiple tactile signs, in a hearing survey involving visually impaired; and 2) experiments were performed to evaluate the tactile signs assuming that they were manufactured in collaboration with the Japan Cosmetic Industry Association, which is an industry organization of manufacturers for body soap and other products. It should be noted that the experiments involving distinguishing between products prioritized tactile signs on the top surfaces of the containers instead of on the side, since visually impaired tend to distinguish between pump containers by touching the top surfaces of the containers in hotels and public restrooms. The results of the experiments were used for tactile signs in the amended JIS S 0021 in 2014 for body soap. This study described evaluation experiments performed on the distinguishability of tactile signs on the top surfaces of pump type body soap containers to determine the factors that should be considered when establishing JIS tactile signs for body soap containers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)100-108
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Advanced Computational Intelligence and Intelligent Informatics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Jan


  • Body soap
  • Distinguishability
  • Packaging and container
  • Tactile signs
  • Visually impaired

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Artificial Intelligence


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