The user as a sensor: Navigating users with visual impairments in indoor spaces using tactile landmarks

Navid Fallah, Ilias Apostolopoulos, Kostas Bekris, Eelke Folmer

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

72 Scopus citations

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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationConference Proceedings - The 30th ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2012
Pages425-432
Number of pages8
DOIs
StatePublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes
Event30th ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2012 - Austin, TX, United States
Duration: May 5 2012May 10 2012

Publication series

NameConference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Proceedings

Other

Other30th ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2012
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityAustin, TX
Period5/5/125/10/12

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design

Keywords

  • Indoor navigation
  • Mobility
  • Visual impairment

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