In this week’s edition of Discovered Technologies we present you with Navatar, a Google Glass indoor navigation system.
As people who are blind or visually impaired may have a hard time finding different locations without a sighted person’s assistance, the University of Nevada has recently received Google funding to develop a Google glass based application to help blind users navigate a building’s interiors. Google Glass is a hands-free, head-mounted device that can be worn as eyewear. This allows the user to free up one of his hands for protection, opening doors, etc. whilst the other is on his or her walking cane.
The app relies on particle filters found in smartphones and is complemented by a graphic layout of the environment that can be created in simple programs like Google Sketchup. After a user indicates where they wish to go, Navatar tells the user to guide themselves by following a wall, taking an elevator, or counting doorways until the user arrives at their desired location. It also notifies a user when they made a wrong turn and redirects them accordingly with an accuracy of 1.75 meters.
The application shows great promise and could facilitate the lives of blind or visually impaired workers in their workplace or other frequented locations. Also, this innovation could also help sighted users who are new to a building and need to find different locations within it quickly and efficiently.