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Navigation Systems for the Blind and Visually Impaired: Past Work, Challenges, and Open Problems

B105 Electronic Systems Lab, ETSI Telecomunicación, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid Avenida Complutense 30, 28040 Madrid, Spain
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Sensors 2019, 19(15), 3404; https://doi.org/10.3390/s19153404
Received: 18 July 2019 / Revised: 30 July 2019 / Accepted: 30 July 2019 / Published: 2 August 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensor Technologies for Caring People with Disabilities)
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Abstract

Over the last decades, the development of navigation devices capable of guiding the blind through indoor and/or outdoor scenarios has remained a challenge. In this context, this paper’s objective is to provide an updated, holistic view of this research, in order to enable developers to exploit the different aspects of its multidisciplinary nature. To that end, previous solutions will be briefly described and analyzed from a historical perspective, from the first “Electronic Travel Aids” and early research on sensory substitution or indoor/outdoor positioning, to recent systems based on artificial vision. Thereafter, user-centered design fundamentals are addressed, including the main points of criticism of previous approaches. Finally, several technological achievements are highlighted as they could underpin future feasible designs. In line with this, smartphones and wearables with built-in cameras will then be indicated as potentially feasible options with which to support state-of-art computer vision solutions, thus allowing for both the positioning and monitoring of the user’s surrounding area. These functionalities could then be further boosted by means of remote resources, leading to cloud computing schemas or even remote sensing via urban infrastructure. View Full-Text
Keywords: assisting systems; navigation systems; perception; situation awareness; visually impaired assisting systems; navigation systems; perception; situation awareness; visually impaired
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Real, S.; Araujo, A. Navigation Systems for the Blind and Visually Impaired: Past Work, Challenges, and Open Problems. Sensors 2019, 19, 3404.

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