Introduction to Assistive Technology for Vision Impairments

3.4.3. Artificial markers system to support navigation

Electronic travel aids like the smart cane can help persons with visual impairments avoid obstacles but they do not address orientation which keeps an individual informed about his or her current location, to find the way to their destination through or across the various features of the environment such as street crossings, landmarks, hazardous obstacles, buildings, transit, stores and bus stops.

Navigation aids must detect such elements and provide this information to the user by nonvisual means such as speech or vibration. The next three videos demonstrate various technological approaches to provide navigation support for persons with vision impairments.

A. Project Guideline

Project Guideline is an early-stage research project that can help runners with vision impairment run in various environments, guided by a painted line which is detected by a camera and Google Artificial Intelligence algorithms.
The mobile app detects through the camera if the user is staying on the line or moving away from it and gives audio alerts to help the users orient themselves and stay on track. The video below shows us how the project works.

B. Navilens

Navilens is a company that has created an artificial markers system for persons with vision impairment to detect using the mobile phone app from a long distance and determine their orientation and movement towards the tag.
These markers can be placed at different locations to aid in navigation for persons with vision impairment. The video below demonstrates the Navilens system.

C. Beacon Technology