Telenavigation for the blind using the 5G network
Even the best electronic travel aids (ETAs) supporting blind people in independent travel are unable to provide assistance that another person can offer. Modern cell phones are equipped with very efficient processors and, often, very good quality digital cameras. Almost every smartphone is equipped with a set of position sensors enabling the detection of phone movement, its GPS location and orientation. Data recorded by mobile phones can be used as additional information needed to obtain support for a blind person from a remote assistant equipped with a suitable terminal.
- Research directions
Modern fifth-generation cellular networks (5G) enable fast transmission of significant amounts of information in a very short time and with low energy consumption. In addition, the existence of fast depth cameras allows you to record and send a three-dimensional map of the scene. The purpose of the research is to select information that can be registered by a blind person's phone and to develop methods of presenting this information to a remote assistant so that he can effectively assist a blind person in navigating in an urban area.
The original system developed at the Institute of Electronics allows a remote assistant to observe the three-dimensional scene recorded by a blind person’s mobile device in real time. At the same time, information about the GPS location and spatial orientation is sent, which is presented to the remote assistant on the map. A blind person communicates with the assistant by voice.
Further work focuses on the automatic analysis of the three-dimensional scene and the selection of information transmitted to a remote assistant to provide the necessary information to a blind person even more effectively. An important aspect is also the reduction of the amount of information transmitted, which, combined with the properties of the fifth generation network, will allow the blind or visually impaired person to be supported in real time, significantly increasing sense of security.
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