Beacon Based Navigation for the Visually Impaired

There’s a useful recent research paper by Basem AL-Madani, Farid Orujov, Rytis Maskeliūnas, Robertas Damaševičius,and Algimantas Venčkauskas on Fuzzy Logic Type-2 Based Wireless Indoor Localization System for Navigation of Visually Impaired People in Buildings.

The paper explores indoor location algorithms and implements a fingerprinting system using RSSI that achieves an average error of 0.43m.

The authors’ ‘fuzzy logic type-2’ system allows for complex environments such as buildings with glass/metal corridors. They comment that fingerprinting requires pre-configuration which is one of the main disadvantages of this method.

Holt iBeacon Trail

Holt Village has launched a new iBeacon Trail that uses the free ‘Explore North East Wales’ app from the Apple and Google app stores. It is one of twelve communities in North East Wales for which a system has been developed to find out more about the community and locations.

The project has been funded by the LEADER scheme which is a fund for rural areas in Wales to explore innovative new approaches and experimental technologies to tackle poverty, create jobs and drive sustainable economic development.

BlindSquare and Beacons

BlindSquare is a popular accessible GPS application developed for the blind and visually impaired. It describes the environment, announces points of interest and street intersections. BlindSquare also works with iBeacons.

An example of use of BlindSquare with beacons is Melbourne Zoo that allows people with visual impairments to get to parts of the zoo that are out of bounds to guide dogs.

More details how to use BlindSquare with iBeacons can be found in the BlindSquare user guide.