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Welcome to the Assistance Technology Project

Aid for Independent Navigation of Public Spaces for the Visually Impaired

Over 250 million people worldwide suffer from visual impairment which decreases their autonomy. Among the affected experiences, independent navigation is significantly challenged. In particular, those with VI encounter particular challenges when attempting to independently navigate unfamiliar indoor areas such as supermarkets, shopping centers, etc. The project aimed to provide an independent navigation aid for those with VI, particularly focusing on independent navigation within public spaces.

Critical Design Review

The Design Review analyzes all of the available information available about the topic being researched. It includes competitor information, pros and cons of the competitors, and a bit of background. Some of the competitors we faced were WayBand, WeWalk, and BlindSquare. All of these products focused on ways that people with visual impairments could navigate in public spaces. However, these products are not able to work indoors and thus, limit the access that people could have to malls, shops, and other public indoor spaces. This is what motivated us to start looking into the subject of indoor navigation.

Project Proposal

The Project Proposal is an outline of the basis of the project and what the group planned to do for the second part of the year. The problem statement, goal, a brief background, requirements, and prototype designs can all be found here. Our preliminary design focused on a simple watch that would vibrate in order to let the person know where they were. We decided to go with a design that a person could wear so that the user would not have to use a phone in their hand and leave a hand open for their cane or something they want to carry. The vibration being located on the hand also meant that the user could easily feel it and react without the device attracting too much attention or distracting a guide dog leading them.

Design Document

The Design Document showcases the final design and all of the parts used to make it. The design turned out more bulky than we had hoped, however, it is still wearable and is able to vibrate when a person is turning or walking forward. Additionally its open hand design means that the user is able to carry another object in their hand if needed. Some future work our team plans to do is to make digital layouts that a person could follow

Additional Drawings and Photos Made During Project

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