The User as a Sensor: Navigating Users with Visual Impairments in Indoor Spaces using Tactile Landmarks

TitleThe User as a Sensor: Navigating Users with Visual Impairments in Indoor Spaces using Tactile Landmarks
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsFallah, N, Apostolopoulos, I, Bekris, KE, Folmer, E
Conference NameACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI)
Date Published05/2012
Conference LocationAustin, TX
Abstract

Indoor navigation systems for users who are visually impaired typically rely upon expensive physical augmentation of the environment or expensive sensing equipment; consequently few systems have been implemented. We present an indoor navigation system called Navatar that allows for localization and navigation by exploiting the physical characteristics of indoor environments, taking advantage of the unique sensing abilities of users with visual impairments, and minimalistic sensing achievable with low cost accelerometers available in smartphones. Particle filters are used to estimate the user's location based on the accelerometer data as well as the user confirming the presence of anticipated tactile landmarks along the provided path. Navatar has a high possibility of large-scale deployment, as it only requires an annotated virtual representation of an indoor environment. A user study with six blind users determines the accuracy of the approach, collects qualitative experiences and identifies areas for improvement.

URLhttp://www.cs.rutgers.edu/~kb572/pubs/userasasensor.pdf
Refereed DesignationRefereed