A GPS-based Personalized Pedestrian Route Recording Smartphone Application for the Blind

Rabia Jafri and Syed Abid Ali. Proceedings of the 16th International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction (HCI 2014) – Posters’ Extended Abstracts, June 22-27, Crete, Greece, Springer International Publishing, Communications in Computer and Information Science (CCIS), Volume 435, pp. 232-237, 2014.

Abstract: A GPS-based smartphone application for blind users is proposed which will allow them to record pedestrian routes to frequently visited destinations (e.g., supermarket, neighborhood mosque, etc.) and to retrieve them later for autonomous navigation. Unlike similar systems, which simply provide a route to a specified destination based on existing GPS maps which may not contain detailed information especially about pedestrian paths and alleys, our software is unique in that it will allow users to record a customized path to a particular destination based on personal considerations such as whether the area surrounding the route is well-lit and well-populated, the unevenness of the terrain and the absence of hazards (such as traffic intersections). A distress call option and auditory cues about user-specified obstacles will also be provided. The objective is to develop a low-cost, portable solution based on easily accessible technology to assist blind users in their daily outdoor mobility tasks.