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Sensors (Basel). 2012;12(6):8236-58. doi: 10.3390/s120608236. Epub 2012 Jun 13.

An indoor navigation system for the visually impaired.

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  • 1Computer Science and Informatics School, Universidad de Costa Rica, San José 2060, Costa Rica.


Navigation in indoor environments is highly challenging for the severely visually impaired, particularly in spaces visited for the first time. Several solutions have been proposed to deal with this challenge. Although some of them have shown to be useful in real scenarios, they involve an important deployment effort or use artifacts that are not natural for blind users. This paper presents an indoor navigation system that was designed taking into consideration usability as the quality requirement to be maximized. This solution enables one to identify the position of a person and calculates the velocity and direction of his movements. Using this information, the system determines the user's trajectory, locates possible obstacles in that route, and offers navigation information to the user. The solution has been evaluated using two experimental scenarios. Although the results are still not enough to provide strong conclusions, they indicate that the system is suitable to guide visually impaired people through an unknown built environment.


augmented object; indoor positioning; movement detection; navigation system; visually impaired; voice interface

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