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. The goal is to make crossing the street safer.
The Help Get Me There application identifies 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’s guide dog forwards this information to the smartphone allowing the application to pull up information about the intersection. The application then gives audio prompts that explain how the intersection can be crossed safely. The app features a gesture-based user interface complete with audible user feedback, providing concise and immediate information to the user. A database of information about 16 intersections near Northeastern’s campus was created.
The project is complete! It won a second prize in the ECE Department’s design competition.