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ERIC Number: EJ849486
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Apr
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0145-482X
Filling the Gaps for Indoor Wayfinding
Ross, David A.; Kelly, Gary W.
Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness, v103 n4 p229-234 Apr 2009
Orientation and wayfinding are critical skills for successful mobility of people with visual impairments. The inability to perform these skills successfully may result in a person becoming lost, injured, and discouraged from further mobility. At times, it may be impossible to maintain orientation. The person may temporarily travel without cues until it is possible to reestablish the location on his or her internal cognitive map. One method of improving mobility is to develop assistive technology that fills in the "gaps" when available orientation cues are lacking and that intelligently augments the senses by providing relevant value-added information. Relevance is key to this issue. Any provision of nonrelevant information makes the task more difficult and is perceived by the traveler as requiring excess effort and time. When orienting to a route, travelers use a combination of cues, including those provided by residual vision, sounds, smells, temperature sensations, air movement, and proprioceptive-haptic sensations. Most travelers have some residual vision, and although that vision may be only the perception of light and dark, it can be useful for finding cues that are not perceptible with the other senses. Viewing the interactions that travelers who are visually impaired have with the environment and then augmenting that information could hypothetically help fill gaps in information for them. Augmenting either orientation information or wayfinding success should reduce the travelers' time and effort. This article presents a pilot study that examined specific methods of augmenting orientation information. The purpose was to determine the types of information that travelers desire and how that information may be best controlled, selected, and presented dynamically, according to individual preferences. To perform this research, the authors developed and evaluated an indoor technological infrastructure called "Cyber Crumbs." (Contains 1 figure and 2 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A