Audio Guidance System for Vision Impaired

Clarinox worked with volunteers from Vision Australia to demonstrate a wireless audio guidance system. The system provided instructions to assist a person to easily navigate through the Melbourne CBD without the aid of sight. The information provided included notification of building work, trip hazards on footpaths and the location of tram stops. 

This is one example of Clarinox providing the technology to support innovation in the health and medical industry. The Clarinox experience in wireless product development, combined with the Clarinox portfolio of wireless protocols, software tools and hardware reference designs place us in a unique position to ensure the success of wireless health device developments. 

By working closely with all the project stakeholders Clarinox helped to make this demonstration a success. 

Vision Impairment 

The chance of vision difficulties increases with age and so this is a problem that is becoming more apparent with the aging of the Australian population. Vision Australia is a not for profit organization that assists people to deal with the everyday practical issues that arise when dealing with visual impairment. 

Clarinox Role 

Clarinox provided electronic handheld devices to the volunteers. Bluetooth streamed audio wirelessly to the volunteer’s handheld upon their approach to location servers (X on the Figures). The audio notified the location of tram stops (Fig. 1a), pedestrian crossings (Fig. 1b) and trip hazards (Fig. 1c). 

Tram

Figure 1a: The system solved the issue of inconsistency in tram stop location 

Intersection

Figure 1b: Information on how to navigate intersections was provided. 

Construction

Figure 1c: Advance warning of the location of construction zones and other trip hazards was provided along with instructions on how to move by an alternate path. 

Overall

Figure 1d: Main system elements from the user perspective is the individual portable device and the location server that streams information to the user. These elements are supported from a web enabled system to allow remote updating of information and the relaying of these updates through the information server and then to the user.

Project Outcome 

The City of Melbourne is proud of the fact that Melbourne has received the world’s most livable city award many times over. The trial of the system for the vision impaired allowed the City of Melbourne to promote its proactive approach to improving access to the city for all citizens. 

Future Plans 

Participants expressed enthusiasm in the demonstration of the system and were keen to raise funding to provide such a system on a large scale, more permanent, basis.