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GPS navigation devices to guide the visually impaired

The world presents numerous challenges for the visually impaired people. This is true, especially when they travel and have difficulties in navigation. They do overcome some of these obstacles with the help of a cane or a dog that guides them. However, navigating or finding directions is still a challenge. With the advent of Global Positioning System (GPS), visually impaired also can lead a better life that helps people to reach a specific destination even in the most unfamiliar area.

na:vi: GPS navigating system:

Brainchild of Pia Weitgasser, Joe Muller and Kristina Chudikova, na:vi promises to help the visually impaired to move without any aid or assistance. It has a gyroscope that guides them to navigate with minimal effort. This elegant and stylish system comes integrated with a laser range finder and a 3D user interface. This ensures a perfect and safe way of finding directions.

Munivo handheld navigation device:

This handy device uses remote sensing technology to guide the users. Munivo measures the distance between the user and the obstacles on two axes, x and y and sends this information to the ECU. Electromagnetic actuators are used to send signals back to the user to give instructions to stay away from obstacles. This device is sure to keep the visually impaired safe while navigating.

Touch & Go navigator:

It comes with a tactile display and a wearable navigator. This navigator can be strapped to the arm, belly or wrist. It first draws an inference current position of the user and provides directions at 1:1000 scale. It uses the embedded ultrasonic transmitter-receiver to send signals to the ear phone. The visually challenged person receives these commands as auditory signals. Designed by Natalia Ponomareva, this navigation system is a great tool for the blind.

plan.b digital map:

plan.b is a digital device that uses tactile version of maps to guide the blind. It can also provide audio information when the user presses the dots on the device. Other than this, it furnishes additional information on the surroundings such as proportion of architecture, distance etc. This helps the user to navigate safely and freely with minimal assistance.

GPS in a Hand Disk:

This device in the shape of a hard disk uses GPS technology to sense the current location of the user. The user can feel the maps using the grid of movable 3D dots. It also has additional features such a compass that can be zoomed along with search and voice command. Designed by Allan Sejer Madsen and Lukasz Natkaniec, this hand held design ensures smooth sailing for the visually impaired.

Jojo: GPS navigation for the blind:

GPS navigation for the blind: This cool looking GPS device uses ultrasonic sensors to direct or guide a person in a human voice. Tourists also can use this handy device. Jojo, designed by Inga Paukste-Urb promises to be a steady comrade of the blind. They can travel with confidence and surety.

GPS guidance for the visually impaired:

This GPS device, called the VIA (Visually Impaired Assistant) uses motion detection technology. The device comes in two parts is worn on both the hands. It does not obstruct the movement of the hand. It has four mini cameras, walking stick and a GPS receiver that is voice operated.

Brainovi 3D Braille GPS navigation system:

This navigation aid integrates spoken instructions with contact display to assist the visually challenged people while traveling. A person can issue verbal command about the destination onto the device that gives a three dimensional map so that the person can feel the routes to the destination. The user receives the directions from the device through the blue tooth earphone. This guides the person in reaching the intended location. It has an inbuilt compass to provide the right direction.

Project Bee:

This device in the form of a wrist band uses tactile feedback to guide the user. The user can also use the audio feedback. The user inputs the address of the location he wishes to reach and the device generates and reads the destination details to the user using the speaker of the wristband. Once the user confirms the destination, the device provides the route to the location.

Thimble finger glove:

Thimble Finger glove is a cool aid for the visually challenged that can be worn on the finger. Designed by Zack Bennett & Erik Hedberg, this device has additional amazing features. The optical scanner in the glove confirms the current location of the person with the help of the internet and the Braille messages. This scanner has the capability of translating a paper text into Braille messages. It also collects the brain signals and also interprets them. Scanning camera in the glove helps to pass the scanned data to the brain. They can play or listen to music in their smart phones using Thimble Finger glove.

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