Speech guidance between locations on campus using standard laptop computers and GPS’s.
RL & Associates, Inc.’s new Talking Navigator® system assists blind and visually impaired people navigate campuses.
The Talking Navigator system calculates routes between predefined locations on individual campuses. Talking Navigator works with a user’s laptop computer and a GPS (Global Positioning System) receiver to monitor the user’s location and provide realtime instructions for walking a given route. The program communicates by using voice recognition and text-to-speech and is not dependent on any particular screen reader software. It is not intended to replace other assistive tools such as a guide dog or cane.
The system includes three modules:
If the user makes a mistake and fails to follow the correct route, the software issues a warning and provides instructions correcting the error and getting back on course. To assist the user in orienting him or herself, the software is able to identify one or more nearby waypoints, routes, or intersections, including the distance and bearing to those locations.
A Customization Module used to set up user preferences.
A Utility Module used to pre-calculate routes and perform database repair and maintenance operations.
The program includes a database of campus locations (buildings, entrances, bus stops, intersections with public streets, and so on) and the accessible routes that connect these locations. The data will be stored in a Microsoft Access database. The data is drawn from already compiled waypoints and maps that include primary and auxiliary routes and all of the locations that users need to find. The program provides tools for entering the necessary data to describe these locations into the database. The programmers participate in beta testing on campus with both sighted and blind testers. Campus personnel help users install the software on their laptops and train them in its use.
Talking Navigator works with a user’s laptop computer and a GPS (Global Positioning System) receiver to monitor the user’s location and provide realtime instructions for walking a given route.
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Download the Talking Navigator brochure here (PDF, 900k).
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