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21 May 2012

Navatar - The Indoor Navigation System For Visually Impaired

A team of computer science engineers from University of Nevada, Reno comprising of Kostas Bekris and Eelke Folmer combined human-computer interaction and motion-planning research to develop a cost effective indoor navigation system called Navatar, for people who are visually impaired. This navigation system uses low cost sensors like accelerometers and compasses available on most smartphones to integrate with 2D architectural maps of buildings to determine the best suited path for a user with special needs.

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Source: ScienceDaily

Unlike the prevalent indoor navigation systems which depend on heavy sensors and radio frequency tags, Navatar tries to utilize the user as a sensor to validate the presence of a landmark by verbal inputs or by pressing a button on the user’s device. The duo recently demonstrated Navatar at the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, Minniesota and at the CM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. Currently, the team intends on developing this navigation system for outdoor environment.

Check out Folmer’s test run with Navatar here:

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