Within the past year, researchers have been demonstrating some promising new ways to help the visually impaired navigate based on technologies originally developed for the greater geospatial community. One of these efforts is hand-held sonar. Another is leveraging the diverse and powerful capabilities inherently available in modern smartphones.
Within this last area of research, the University of Minnesota Center for Transporation Studies has been hard at work on a system that seamlessly integrates multiple smartphone features such as GPS, Wi-Fi, and digital compass to provide visually impaired pedestrians with enhanced safety at street intersections. To learn more about this development, use the links below:
- Smartphone Research Aims to Help Visually Impaired Pedestrians (University of Minnesota)
Comment: This is a fabulous use of technology that overcomes the issue in the past of the visually impaired having to carry multiple bulky systems to achieve the same results. For more on this point, consider comments of Dr. Joshua Miele in a 5:00 minute video produced by baycitizen.org.