Visually challenged people find it extremely difficult to move around especially in unfamiliar places without the help of an escort. They cannot read the visual signs and they need to look out for obstacles in their way and navigate around them. This work presents an electronic escort system to come to their aid. The system uses a smart phone in conjunction with a wearable RF module worn on the user's waist. The module is also equipped with an ultrasonic range finder to aid in obstacle detection. Locations of interest are also fitted with an RF device which keeps sending beacons periodically. The user's RF module receives the beacons and communicates the message to the smart phone over Bluetooth. The smart phone interprets and conveys the message to the visually challenged user as talking signage. The messages are delivered in the language chosen by the user which could be the user's native language. Thus the system creates an IoT environment around the visually challenged user to provide electronic escort service. Indoor locations such as wash rooms, elevators, entry/exit, etc. as well as outdoor locations such as bus stops, traffic lights, restaurants, etc. can be identified in this way. The system was implemented at our research center with ten different locations fitted with the RF device and was successfully tested with blindfolded people for its effectiveness. The system was also able to detect obstacles up to 5 meters away. © 2016 IEEE.
cited By 0; Conference of 2016 IEEE International Conference on Computational Intelligence and Computing Research, ICCIC 2016 ; Conference Date: 15 December 2016 Through 17 December 2016; Conference Code:127661
Sethuraman Rao and Aswathy, V. R., “An electronic escort for the visually challenged”, in 2016 IEEE International Conference on Computational Intelligence and Computing Research, ICCIC 2016, 2017.