Topic Editors

Dr. Daniele Croce
Dipartimento di Ingegneria, Università di Palermo, Viale delle Scienze, Ed. 9, 90128 Palermo, Italy
Prof. Dr. Laura Giarré
Dipartimento di Ingegneria “Enzo Ferrari”, Università di Modena e Reggio Emilia, Via P. Vivarelli, 10, 41125 Modena, Italy
Dr. Domenico Garlisi
Department of Engineering, University of Palermo, Viale delle Scienze Ed. 9, 90128 Palermo, Italy

Technologies and Sensors for Visually Impaired People

Abstract submission deadline
closed (30 November 2022)
Manuscript submission deadline
31 March 2023
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Topic Information

Dear Colleagues,

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), at least 2.2 billion people have a near or distance vision impairment, about 246 million suffer from low vision, and 39 million are blind. Many assistive technologies (ATs) and sensors exist to help visually impaired people be more independent and healthy, as well as improve their participation in education, working, and social life. ATs can also reduce the need of care services, alleviate the burthen on families, and prevent the risk of poverty. On the other hand, ATs are sometimes expensive, even in high-income countries, and complex for the users, with inadequate functional design or cosmetic acceptability. This is often due to the little attention given by researchers and industrial corporations, which are often more attracted by popular mass-market segments. In this topic, we focus on visually impaired people, investigating how new technologies and sensors can support their specific needs. Indeed, different AT devices can support people with visual impairements in a range of tasks or might be focused on a specific task. For example, many applications exploit the variety of sensors included in most smartphones and tablets, such as cameras, accelerometers, GPS, etc., to provide navigation, object recognition, and social interaction services. Moreover, recent advancements in data analysis, machine learning, human–computer interaction, and the development of new actuators (haptic, vibrational, audio, braille, etc.) resulted in an explosion of ATs, including artificial intelligence for communication and translation, eLearning and education, computer vision, virtual and augmented environments (VR/AR), mobile and touch technology, tactile and wearable interfaces, image and Web accessibility, as well as usability, ergonomics, and user centered design of the above research fields. Finally, several ATs are based on the pervasive diffusion of sensors and the Internet of Things (IoT) to help visually impaired people in their everyday life, such as in ambient and assisted living (AAL), while other ATs focus more on providing mechanisms to support caregivers. This topic aims to address technologies and sensors overcoming or easing visual impairements and related topics of interest, which include but are not limited to:

  • AT and assistive robotics for visually impaired people;
  • AAL, smart environments and IoT for visually impaired people;
  • AT and artificial intelligence for visually impaired;
  • Virtual and augmented reality for visually impaired;
  • Computer vision applications for visually impaired people;
  • Bioengineering for visually impaired;
  • Auditory and spatial perception of visually impaired people;
  • Alternative and augmentative communication for visually impaired people;
  • Wearable and haptics for visually impaired;
  • Navigation and guidance for visually impaired people;
  • Assisted mobility for visually impaired people;
  • Accessibility of images, software, web, and social media;
  • Safety and security of AT for visually impaired people;
  • Inclusive R&D, usability, ergonomics, and user centered design of AT for visually impaired people;
  • ATs in education for visually impaired people;
  • ATs for visually impaired people in low- and middle-income countries.

Dr. Daniele Croce
Prof. Dr. Laura Giarré
Dr. Domenico Garlisi
Topic Editors


  • visually impaired
  • assistive technologies
  • computer vision
  • augmented reality
  • machine learning
  • haptic
  • navigation

Participating Journals

Journal Name Impact Factor CiteScore Launched Year First Decision (median) APC
5.046 6.3 2014 15.9 Days 1700 CHF Submit
- - 2021 26.1 Days 1000 CHF Submit
5.743 5.6 2011 13.6 Days 2000 CHF Submit
- 4.9 2012 18.9 Days 1600 CHF Submit
3.847 6.4 2001 16.2 Days 2400 CHF Submit

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Published Papers (1 paper)

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A Wearable Assistive Device for Blind Pedestrians Using Real-Time Object Detection and Tactile Presentation
Sensors 2022, 22(12), 4537; - 16 Jun 2022
Viewed by 817
Nowadays, improving the traffic safety of visually impaired people is a topic of widespread concern. To help avoid the risks and hazards of road traffic in their daily life, we propose a wearable device using object detection techniques and a novel tactile display [...] Read more.
Nowadays, improving the traffic safety of visually impaired people is a topic of widespread concern. To help avoid the risks and hazards of road traffic in their daily life, we propose a wearable device using object detection techniques and a novel tactile display made from shape-memory alloy (SMA) actuators. After detecting obstacles in real-time, the tactile display attached to a user’s hands presents different tactile sensations to show the position of the obstacles. To implement the computation-consuming object detection algorithm in a low-memory mobile device, we introduced a slimming compression method to reduce 90% of the redundant structures of the neural network. We also designed a particular driving circuit board that can efficiently drive the SMA-based tactile displays. In addition, we also conducted several experiments to verify our wearable assistive device’s performance. The results of the experiments showed that the subject was able to recognize the left or right position of a stationary obstacle with 96% accuracy and also successfully avoided collisions with moving obstacles by using the wearable assistive device. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Technologies and Sensors for Visually Impaired People)
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