Notably valuable efforts have focused on helping people with special needs. In this work, we build upon the experience from the BlindHelper smartphone outdoor pedestrian navigation app and present Blind MuseumTourer, a system for indoor interactive autonomous navigation for blind and visually impaired persons and groups (e.g., pupils), which has primarily addressed blind or visually impaired (BVI) accessibility and self-guided tours in museums. A pilot prototype has been developed and is currently under evaluation at the Tactual Museum with the collaboration of the Lighthouse for the Blind of Greece. This paper describes the functionality of the application and evaluates candidate indoor location determination technologies, such as wireless local area network (
and surface-mounted assistive tactile route indications combined with Bluetooth low energy (BLE) beacons and inertial dead-reckoning functionality, to come up with a reliable and highly accurate indoor positioning system adopting the latter solution. The developed concepts, including map matching, a key concept for indoor navigation, apply in a similar way to other indoor guidance use cases involving complex indoor places, such as in hospitals, shopping malls, airports, train stations, public and municipality buildings, office buildings, university buildings, hotel resorts, passenger ships, etc. The presented Android application is effectively a Blind IndoorGuide system for accurate and reliable blind indoor navigation.
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