Navigation for the Blind
Let’s make a maps app for the blind to allow them to wander around freely
Nouman Tahir
Technical Project Manger at Collaborizm | Android/iOS Contractor
· Islamabad, Islamabad Capital Territory, Pakistan

Let’s Discuss Project Roadmap

Based on the different feedback I have been receiving and chatting with several experts, their will be few major changes to the project and we will have define proper Roadmap and split project into wings to boost development.

First, lets have a look at challenges we are facing

  • Our main goal is to create a 3D soundscape, creating such surround sound signal require total covered years with some real good quality headphones. Now since the blind person rely mostly on environmental noise while navigating locally we might not do any good by covering years
  • Another option is to use special headphones from designed for the blind my Microsoft that directly send sound signals to your inner year, the challenge here is we might not be able to create the level of depth we require for creating a soundscape.
  • Even if we are able to find a best headset, there is a great challenge of actually creating a perfect soundscape extracted from nothing but a rough road structure.
  • Since we are targeting both local navigation and reading audible maps how would these two differ from each other and how they can be merged to become on signal robust system
  • One great limitation to both types of 3D audible signals is the depth of any headset can produce, if depth is not satisfying to our expectation what would be the workaround like how would user navigate the audible map.

Project faces and split suggestions

The project is and will be a very complex and long running project and it would definitely not be a child’s play to pull this off and that is what makes me more energetic about this project.
Our best bet would be to divide this project into very consumable mini projects, develop it into steps and try to get a usable outcome out of each step.
In the start I conceptualize splitting to something that can be developed independently and can converge at a stage to bring about a final shape.
Based on this concept I am putting forward some basic project wings…

  1. Local obstacle feedback
  2. Verbal navigation instructions
  3. Generating soundscape

Initial Roadmap Suggestions

  • We will set teams working on each wing mentioned above working in parallel
  • The first wing will start by making simple prototype using arduino sonar radar and generate simple beeps in that direction, later if prototype succeed shift to vibration belt and obstacle sound map using kinect disparity map
  • Second wing will work on guiding the blind to destination through audible navigation instructions, we will be using OSM service and some pre configured tags like blind’s regular bus stops and things like that, with this information app will make verbal comm with the blind
  • Third team will primarily find best viable solution to generating a perfect depth soundscape without effecting the blind’s environmental noise channels, it will be the most difficult task and will require a lot effort.
  • Once a good shape of all three wings is acquired we will plan on merging the three into one robust system

Closing remarks

Although this project seems really complex specially the soundscape part but if we will be able to find a practical solution to this, it will play a great impact in the lives of the blind people and in the end nothing satisfies you most, not even being a millionaire, than embracing a smile on someone’s face made possible because of your efforts

Robert Lancer
Darpan Pudasaini

Kabadi Ramachandra

Assisted the discussion with really great inspirations and experience that perhaps we couldn’t have come up with without him

Award Contribution
Load previous comments
Steven Reubenstone
Mechanical Engineer & Tinkerer of Things. Collaborizm Roundtable.
· New York, NY, USA


Award Contribution
Paulo Roberto Soares

Boa tarde meus amigos tenho diabetes e minha visão anda meio compremetida

1 like
Award Contribution
Nouman Tahir
Technical Project Manger at Collaborizm | Android/iOS Contractor
· Islamabad, Islamabad Capital Territory, Pakistan

Hi Paulo Roberto Soares, embora o projeto esteja em pausa, mas definitivamente adoraria saber se há algo que possamos trazer juntos

Award Contribution
Leave a reply...
Chat with us!
Write something before you submit it!
Photo updated
Request Sent!
Copied to Clipboard