37 million people in the U.S. are blind or have a visual impairment. For these individuals, travel within a busy city can be dangerous. The urban infrastructure often fails to convey the information necessary for the visually impaired to travel safely. Our goal is to make crossing the street safer.
The Help Get Me There application will identify a user’s location with RFID tags located at both ends of crosswalks communicating with an RFID reader and Bluetooth transmitter located on the user. The RFID reader located on the user will forward this information to the smartphone allowing the application to pull up information about the intersection. The application itself will then fulfill a variety of roles to provide the user with information necessary to cross the street easily, including
• Intersection Identification: The application will be capable of informing users what intersection they are at, by announcing the two intersecting street names using RFID tags.
• Crosswalk Alignment: The application will use the compass within smartphones to align the user so the he or she may safely cross the intersection.
• Crosswalk Signal Alignment: When arriving at an intersection the user would like to know where the button is for crossing the street without needing to ask. The direction of the button will be sent to the user using the same method as crossing the street, by giving the user a direction from the smartphone compass.
• Intersection Description: The application will send information about islands, number of car lanes, and if the road is one-way or bidirectional at a crosswalk.
• Button Identification: Our application will be engineered to announce the name of the button when pressed and only activate the button’s function on release.
This project is in progress.