A Navigational Aid for Blind Pedestrians Designed with User- and Activity-Centered Approaches

A Navigational Aid for Blind Pedestrians Designed with User- and Activity-Centered Approaches

Florence Gaunet (Laboratoire Eco-Anthropologie et Ethnobiologie UMR 5145, CNRS, France) and Xavier Briffault (CESAMES UMR 8136, Université René-Descartes Paris V, France)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-960-1.ch027
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Abstract

The two-fold aim of this chapter is to present the design process of an interface for a mobile navigational aid for blind pedestrians and a set of rules for producing route descriptions for these users, as well as the methodology used to develop them, rooted in a user- and activity-centered approach. We first present the state of the art of wearable verbal navigational aids and what might still be lacking in their conception, and propose a reusable user- and activity-centered approach designed to complement already existing and future systems. Case studies fitting into this approach are next presented: route descriptions produced by blind pedestrians were analyzed; the production rules were extracted and tested in urban areas. Results reveal these rules, the specific database features, the required user profiles, and the precision of localization necessary for assisting blind pedestrians’ wayfinding in urban areas. Finally, future trends in mobile guiding tools for the visually impaired are examined.

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