Blind people are deprived from a wide set of information about the surrounding environment. This is a reality for places, objects and people. In particular, if social norms are disrespected, the blind person is likely to miss out the presence and absence of people in the same room or passing by. Current mobile devices provide a bundle of sensors that are able to provide more information about its user’s whereabouts and people nearby. We focus our research on improving the implicit awareness these users have access about their surrounding environment. We interviewed 19 blind people to understand the limitations and needs they have in indoor and outdoor environments both in orientation and social tasks. Based on our findings, we developed a prototype system able to recognize people nearby and notify the user about their presence. A preliminary probe with 3 blind people revealed that such awareness is a requirement and shed light about novel scenarios pertaining recognition, augmentation and sharing of information about people, places and objects.
Author and article information
LaSIGE & Department of Informatics, University of Lisbon
Edifício C6, Campo-Grande, 1749-016 Lisboa, Portugal