When traveling through public environments, like a shopping mall or crowded street, moving obstacles constantly shift and change in unexpected ways. Sensory experiences like sight, sound, and touch can help avoid collisions and prevent accidents. But for the visually impaired, navigating through public environments means facing a series of unknowns.
Path Finder could help people with visual impairments navigate through such complex situations by identifying and calculating the trajectories of objects moving in their path. Custom alerts then inform the user of how to avoid these obstacles and what actions they can safely make.
This app brings together object detection, motion sensors, and uses TensorFlow Lite to calculate distances of surrounding objects. It is designed to augment the user’s experience, share information, and give support, not overwhelm them in difficult situations. For this reason, Path Finder’s setup process is made to be conversational and is customized for users with limited vision, as well as the people helping them.
Both audible and haptic feedback are part of the obstacle alert system, while a range of pitches and frequencies communicate each object’s distance and direction. Audio patterns, like Morse Code, are then layered and combined for sharing further information. Through using Path Finder, visually impaired users can gain the advantage of foresight, making public environments easier to navigate.