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Sensors 2017, 17(5), 1057;

Smartphone-Based Escalator Recognition for the Visually Impaired

Department of Computer Science, University of Tsukuba, 1-1-1 Tennodai, Tsukuba 305-8573, Japan
Aichi University of Education, 1 Hirosawa, Igaya, Kariya 448-8542, Japan
Toba National College of Maritime Technology, 1-1 Ikegami, Toba 517-8501, Japan
Aichi Institute of Technology, 1247 Yachigusa, Yakusa, Toyota 470-0392, Japan
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Vittorio M. N. Passaro
Received: 13 March 2017 / Revised: 29 April 2017 / Accepted: 3 May 2017 / Published: 6 May 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
Full-Text   |   PDF [2282 KB, uploaded 8 May 2017]   |  


It is difficult for visually impaired individuals to recognize escalators in everyday environments. If the individuals ride on escalators in the wrong direction, they will stumble on the steps. This paper proposes a novel method to assist visually impaired individuals in finding available escalators by the use of smartphone cameras. Escalators are recognized by analyzing optical flows in video frames captured by the cameras, and auditory feedback is provided to the individuals. The proposed method was implemented on an Android smartphone and applied to actual escalator scenes. The experimental results demonstrate that the proposed method is promising for helping visually impaired individuals use escalators. View Full-Text
Keywords: Assistive system; Visually impaired user; Escalator; Optical flow; Smartphone camera Assistive system; Visually impaired user; Escalator; Optical flow; Smartphone camera

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Nakamura, D.; Takizawa, H.; Aoyagi, M.; Ezaki, N.; Mizuno, S. Smartphone-Based Escalator Recognition for the Visually Impaired. Sensors 2017, 17, 1057.

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