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A Non-Intrusive System to Warn the Disabled of Dangerous Situations

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000123499D
Original Publication Date: 1998-Dec-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Apr-04
Document File: 2 page(s) / 98K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Fletcher, JC: AUTHOR [+3]

Abstract

It's long been recognized that it is important to assist disabled people in the presence of potentially dangerous situations. For example, in many major cities, when traffic lights change color, a loud buzzing sound is emitted by a speaker stationed at the intersection.

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A Non-Intrusive System to Warn the Disabled of Dangerous Situations

   It's long been recognized that it is important to assist
disabled people in the presence of potentially dangerous situations.
For example, in many major cities, when traffic lights change color,
a loud buzzing sound is emitted by a speaker stationed at the
intersection.

   There are three drawbacks with this approach.  First, such
sounds must be quite loud to be heard over a city's din.  Such loud
noises are clearly undesirable.  Second,  a single sound can warn of
the presence of danger, but does nothing to inform the listener of
the nature of the danger.  Finally, such systems are only
unidirectional.  For example, a loud noise might inform an
elderly-person who uses a walker that it is clear to cross and
intersection, but it does not tell the traffic light that the person
requires slightly longer than normal to cross the intersection.

   We describe a system in which users with PvC devices
interact with intelligent systems stationed throughout a city.  The
system has several key components: Base stations located throughout a
city A management facility (centralized it the preferred embodiment,
but can be distributed) User devices

   The base stations have the following components -- network
connection to the management facility -- transmitter (to interact
with user devices) -- receiver (to interact with user devices) --
processor to maintain state about the area

   User devices contain: -- input and output components, -- a
transmitter and receiver, -- encryption engine -- non-volatile
memory

   The devices are customized to the disability.  Output
mechanisms include audio (the speaker might be an earpiece), LCD (or
other site-based media) and vibration.  Input mechanisms include a
keyboard (in some cases oversized) and voice recognition.

   One key concern in this system is security.  Because the
PvC devices provide information to the base station, and thus affect
operation of city resources (e.g. traffic lights), the opportunity
for mischief is great.  When a device enters range of a base station,
it receives all warning broadcast by the station, much as a radio
receives all stations within range.  When the PvC device detects that
it is in range of a danger area, it automatically transmits its
request for special service.  This request includes the device's
unique ide...