Smart Signage: Technology Enhancing Indoor Location Awareness for People with Visual Impairments

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We developed and evaluated a BLE-based indoor location awareness system called Smart Signageto provide blind and visually impaired people with better accessibility to the built environment. The Smart Signage system consists of three components; a user component, an environmental component, and a smartphone app. The user component implemented with a Bluetooth low energy beacon tag, which transmits radio signal representing user need every set interval to the environmental component within the set range, can be attached to conventional O&M aids like a long cane. The environmental component, which can be attached to existing tactile signs, continuously sees if the user component comes in and out, using an embedded Bluetooth low energy beacon receiver. When a person who walks with the user component is within the set range, the environmental component automatically plays a recorded voice or simple ticking sound. Based on the sound cue, the user recognizes what/where it is. The smartphone app is used to configure both the user and environment components. The user evaluation conducted with 9 participants found that the Smart Signage system had reasonable level of feasibility, acceptability and usability by showing the potential users had very positive opinions and attitudes toward the developed system.
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Journal on Technology and Persons with Disabilities, v.4, no.1, pp.204 - 213

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RIMS Journal Papers
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