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Emphatic Trials of a Teleassistance System for the Visually Impaired

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In this paper we focus on a special type of electronic travel aids for the visually impaired termed teleassistance systems. The operation principle of such systems is to transmit a video stream from a camera carried by a navigated user to a remote assistant that guides the traveller by short spoken instructions. First, we review different approaches to building the teleassistance systems for the visually impaired. Then, we explain the technical basis of our system and indicate important novelties in comparison to other systems. The key part of the paper reports on ergonomic, non-mobility tests with participation of blind volunteers and emphatic field trials (i.e., with the participation of sighted individuals) of the teleassistance system. The trials were conducted on the university campus with the participation of seven sighted individuals. They walked along three different paths, each approximately 400 m in length. During these trials, the sighted travellers noted the number of potential lost ways or possible collisions. Also, the transmission performance of the system was monitored, recorded in server logs and evaluated. This paper also contains responses by the guided volunteers and their remote guides to our questionnaire. Comments from the target users, i.e., the visually impaired who assessed the ergonomic and communication quality in the static, non-mobility trials of the system, were also collected. On the basis of the conducted tests and the field trials, we conclude that the described teleassistance navigation system can be a prospective travel aid for the blind, partially sighted and the elderly.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2015

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  • Journal of Medical Imaging and Health Informatics (JMIHI) is a medium to disseminate novel experimental and theoretical research results in the field of biomedicine, biology, clinical, rehabilitation engineering, medical image processing, bio-computing, D2H2, and other health related areas.
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