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Method for a portable location-assisting device for the visually impaired user

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000021242D
Publication Date: 2004-Jan-07
Document File: 5 page(s) / 138K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Disclosed is a method for a portable location-assisting device for the visually impaired user. Benefits include improved functionality.

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Method for a portable location-assisting device for the visually impaired user

Disclosed is a method for a portable location-assisting device for the visually impaired user. Benefits include improved functionality.

Background

         Many assistive technologies exist with software and hardware features for the visually impaired user. For example, keyboards and screens are available for visually impaired people, which enable them to write and read. However, no device and/or apparatus provides visually impaired people with information about near-by services. The information should be presented based on the user’s preferences or input.

         Integrated devices with input devices, such as a Braille keyboard or speech engine, and output devices, such as wireless headsets, in the market place could provide location assistance to visually impaired people. The devices could provide information about nearby stores, restaurants, and hotels.

General description        

         The disclosed method is a mobile device offering location[IC1]-based services  to the visually-impaired user. The device enables text or speech-based queries for location services based on existing preferences (static data) residing on nonvolatile storage or new preferences (dynamic data). For example, a visually impaired person may require various location services, such as traffic information, directions to an office, or hotel information. Data about location services is made available through the mobile device carried by the visually impaired person (see Figure 1).

         The disclosed method is an integrated assistive device that enables the visually impaired user to have audio-based location assistance. The device must support the following functions:

•         Coexistence of wireless transmission and wireless LAN

•         Static and dynamic querying of location services

•         On-device speech support

•         Braille keyboard

Advantages

         The disclosed method provides advantages, including:

•         Improved functionality due to providing location information to the visually impaired user

Detailed description

         The disclosed method is a portable location-assisting device for the visually impaired user. The method assumes the availability of a wireless telecom infrastructure and that vendors have registered their services to one or more location-service providers.

         The disclosed method includes a solution stack that includes the following elements (see Figure 2):

•         Location stack: A software-based location stack enables the hand-held device with location-aware capabilities. The components of the location stack are:

         -         Location sensors: The goal of the location sensors is to determine location using techniques such as global positioning system (GPS) or cell triangulation using enhanced observed time difference (E-OTD).

         -         Distance calculator: This component accepts the output of the location sensor and calculates the distance of the available service from the user’s current location.

•         Audio Engine: The audio engine converts location d...