A significant challenge faced by visually impaired people is ‘wayfinding’, which is the ability to find one’s way to a destination in an unfamiliar environment. This study develops a novel wayfinding system for smartphones that can automatically recognize the situation and scene objects in real time. Through analyzing streaming images, the proposed system first classifies the current situation of a user in terms of their location. Next, based on the current situation, only the necessary context objects are found and interpreted using computer vision techniques. It estimates the motions of the user with two inertial sensors and records the trajectories of the user toward the destination, which are also used as a guide for the return route after reaching the destination. To efficiently convey the recognized results using an auditory interface, activity-based instructions are generated that guide the user in a series of movements along a route. To assess the effectiveness of the proposed system, experiments were conducted in several indoor environments: the sit in which the situation awareness accuracy was 90% and the object detection false alarm rate was 0.016. In addition, our field test results demonstrate that users can locate their paths with an accuracy of 97%.
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