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Article

A Navigation and Augmented Reality System for Visually Impaired People

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Dipartimento di Ingegneria, Università di Palermo, Viale delle Scienze, Ed. 9, 90128 Palermo, Italy
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Consorzio Nazionale Interuniversitario delle Telecomunicazioni, Viale G.P. Usberti, 181/A, 43124 Parma, Italy
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Dipartimento di Ingegneria “Enzo Ferrari”, Università di Modena e Reggio Emilia, Via P. Vivarelli, 10, 41125 Modena, Italy
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
This paper is an extended version of our paper published in: Lo Valvo, A.; Garlisi, D.; Giarré, L.; Croce, D.; Giuliano, F.; Tinnirello, I. A Cultural Heritage Experience for Visually Impaired People. In Proceedings of the International Conference Florence Heri-tech: the Future of Heritage Science and Technologies, Firenze, Italy, 14–16 October 2020.
Academic Editor: Javier Bajo
Sensors 2021, 21(9), 3061; https://doi.org/10.3390/s21093061
Received: 12 March 2021 / Revised: 22 April 2021 / Accepted: 26 April 2021 / Published: 28 April 2021
(This article belongs to the Section Intelligent Sensors)
In recent years, we have assisted with an impressive advance in augmented reality systems and computer vision algorithms, based on image processing and artificial intelligence. Thanks to these technologies, mainstream smartphones are able to estimate their own motion in 3D space with high accuracy. In this paper, we exploit such technologies to support the autonomous mobility of people with visual disabilities, identifying pre-defined virtual paths and providing context information, reducing the distance between the digital and real worlds. In particular, we present ARIANNA+, an extension of ARIANNA, a system explicitly designed for visually impaired people for indoor and outdoor localization and navigation. While ARIANNA is based on the assumption that landmarks, such as QR codes, and physical paths (composed of colored tapes, painted lines, or tactile pavings) are deployed in the environment and recognized by the camera of a common smartphone, ARIANNA+ eliminates the need for any physical support thanks to the ARKit library, which we exploit to build a completely virtual path. Moreover, ARIANNA+ adds the possibility for the users to have enhanced interactions with the surrounding environment, through convolutional neural networks (CNNs) trained to recognize objects or buildings and enabling the possibility of accessing contents associated with them. By using a common smartphone as a mediation instrument with the environment, ARIANNA+ leverages augmented reality and machine learning for enhancing physical accessibility. The proposed system allows visually impaired people to easily navigate in indoor and outdoor scenarios simply by loading a previously recorded virtual path and providing automatic guidance along the route, through haptic, speech, and sound feedback. View Full-Text
Keywords: navigation; visually impaired; computer vision; augmented reality; cultural context; convolutional neural network; machine learning; haptic navigation; visually impaired; computer vision; augmented reality; cultural context; convolutional neural network; machine learning; haptic
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MDPI and ACS Style

Lo Valvo, A.; Croce, D.; Garlisi, D.; Giuliano, F.; Giarré, L.; Tinnirello, I. A Navigation and Augmented Reality System for Visually Impaired People. Sensors 2021, 21, 3061. https://doi.org/10.3390/s21093061

AMA Style

Lo Valvo A, Croce D, Garlisi D, Giuliano F, Giarré L, Tinnirello I. A Navigation and Augmented Reality System for Visually Impaired People. Sensors. 2021; 21(9):3061. https://doi.org/10.3390/s21093061

Chicago/Turabian Style

Lo Valvo, Alice, Daniele Croce, Domenico Garlisi, Fabrizio Giuliano, Laura Giarré, and Ilenia Tinnirello. 2021. "A Navigation and Augmented Reality System for Visually Impaired People" Sensors 21, no. 9: 3061. https://doi.org/10.3390/s21093061

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