A Study of Performance Factors in the Brunel Remote Guidance System for Visually Impaired Pedestrians

A Study of Performance Factors in the Brunel Remote Guidance System for Visually Impaired Pedestrians

Mohammed Al-Masarweh (School of Engineering and Design, Brunel University, Uxbridge, UK), Vanja Garaj (School of Engineering and Design, Brunel University, Uxbridge, UK) and Wamadeva Balachandran (School of Engineering and Design, Brunel University, Uxbridge, UK)
Copyright: © 2012 |Pages: 16
DOI: 10.4018/jhcr.2012100104

Abstract

Over the last decade, the development in mobile technology, satellite navigation systems and Geographical Information Systems (GIS) have contributed to the design and development of Brunel Remote Guidance System (BRGS). This system has the potential to be utilized by visually impaired pedestrians to make their life safer and easier. Recent research on BRGS indicates that in future this technology might be an integral part of their life practices. However, before the full deployment of the system in real life, more research is needed to reach both the best setup and performance of the system. The performance of the system is subject to each factor within the sub-system of the overall system architecture. Hence, knowing each sub-system along with its method of performance assessment and its effectiveness will definitely enable the better evaluation of the whole system performance which can lead to a better system setup. Therefore, that has been the main aim of this paper which has been achieved through conducted systematic literature review on previous literature related to this project. The main finding of the study showed that there is no clear setup and performance assessment method for one essential part on the system, which is the guide terminal.
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Brunel Remote Guidance System Prototype

The BRGS consists of two terminals; stationary and mobile (Figure 1). The mobile terminal is utilized by the visually impaired pedestrian, who is the receptor of the sighted guide assistance during the journey. The stationary terminal is utilized by a sighted guide, who provides the guidance. The broadband wireless communication link was used to establish the connection between the mobile and guide terminals. Voice communication is transmitted via a wireless link between the user (via mobile phone in the mobile terminal by using a microphone and a single earpiece) and the guide person (via a landline phone in the guide terminal by using headphone and microphone). This duplex communication is important to allow a real time interaction between the guide and the user. Additionally, wireless link is used to transmit the GPS location and video image from the mobile terminal to the guide terminal displayed on two-window screens as shown in Figure 1. GPS data is displayed on the digital map window by using the GIS database. The map enables the guide to track the visually impaired pedestrian during the journey and navigate them to the desired destination. The video image is displayed in video image window and it allows the guide to assist the visually impaired pedestrian by describing the environment ahead. The video image is streamed from the camera on the user terminal. These data provide valuable information about the mobility of the user (i.e., navigation and orientation) (Garaj, 2006b; Hunaiti, 2010).

Figure 1.

Brunel remote guide system prototype

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