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Given the growth in the numbers of visually impaired (VI) people in low-income countries, the development of affordable electronic travel aid (ETA) systems employing devices, sensors, and apps embedded in ordinary smartphones becomes a potentially cost-effective and reasonable all-in-one solution of utmost importance for the VI. This paper offers an overview of recent ETA research prototypes that employ smartphones for assisted orientation and navigation in indoor and outdoor spaces by providing additional information about the surrounding objects. Scientific achievements in the field were systematically reviewed using PRISMA methodology. Comparative meta-analysis showed how various smartphone-based ETA prototypes could assist with better orientation, navigation, and wayfinding in indoor and outdoor environments. The analysis found limited interest among researchers in combining haptic interfaces and computer vision capabilities in smartphone-based ETAs for the blind, few attempts to employ novel state-of-the-art computer vision methods based on deep neural networks, and no evaluations of existing off-the-shelf navigation solutions. These results were contrasted with findings from a survey of blind expert users on their problems in navigating in indoor and outdoor environments. This revealed a major mismatch between user needs and academic development in the field.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Assistive technology : the official journal of RESNA
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Computer-based representation of physical systems and phenomena such as chemical processes.
The absence of both hearing and vision.
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