Daniella Briotto Faustino studies how to make technology more accessible for people who are blind or have vision impairment. Two hundred and fifty million people worldwide fall into this category.

Daniella was a Human-Computer Interaction Master’s student, who was supervised by Dr. Audrey Girouard in the School of Information Technology. Daniella began her research in the Creative Interactions Lab by seeking to understand how people with vision impairment deal with passwords on a daily basis. A large online survey revealed that half of the study participants did not feel fully able to protect their digital information.

In response, she sought to develop an alternative in the form of tactile password input. The prototype she created builds on the research of two of Dr. Girouard’s previous students, including Sana Maqsood, who as a HCI Master’s student was co-supervised by Dr. Sonia Chiasson. Sana is currently a Ph.D. student of Dr. Chiasson in the School of Computer Science. Daniella developed a silicone device with flex sensors that users bend and fold in a specific order to undo a digital lock. This is called a “bend password”. In her research, she was able to demonstrate that bend passwords are just as memorable and actually more secure than PINs.

Daniella gave an eloquent presentation of her research at Carleton’s 2018 Three Minute Competition. She was rewarded for her efforts, winning the competition and progressing to the provincial level. At provincials 2018 she placed second and progressed to the national level. She was a finalist at the Canadian National 2018 Three Minute Thesis Competition. It’s not hard to see why – Daniella is a confident public speaker with timely research that is highly relevant to real-world problems.

Daniella graduated with her Master’s degree in November 2018.