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Method and Apparatus to Sense and Alert of Unsafe Sidewalk Conditions with Path Rerouting Capabilities

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000233979D
Publication Date: 2014-Jan-06
Document File: 2 page(s) / 21K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Disclosed is a system that uses a sensor to detect the end of a sidewalk as well as any conditions that make a sidewalk impassible or unsafe, alerts the user in real time to the unsafe conditions, and then provides an alternate route. The system integrates detection and transmitter technologies with mapping applications.

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Method and Apparatus to Sense and Alert of Unsafe Sidewalk Conditions with Path Rerouting Capabilities

When a sidewalk abruptly ends, becomes impassable, or otherwise obstructed, a pedestrian is often left to walk in traffic, which poses a hazard to both the pedestrian and vehicles.

One current mapping application provides a general warning such as "Use caution - This route may be missing sidewalks or pedestrian paths." However, the prior art does not provide real-time alerts that the sidewalk is ending, is not passible, or is obstructed as the person is walking.

The novel contribution is a system that uses a sensor to detect the end of a sidewalk as well as any conditions that make a sidewalk impassible or unsafe, alerts the user to the unsafe conditions, and then provides an alternate route. The system integrates detection and transmitter technologies with mapping applications. It captures sidewalk routes to enter into a Global Positioning System (GPS) and mapping applications to make walking routes reliable.

The safety determination is based on a tolerance level and calibrated by the standard dimensions of sidewalks in the user's location. The detection device (e.g., smart phone) alerts the user in real time of an upcoming unsafe or ending sidewalk. The system works in conjunction with a mapping or GPS application to safely reroute the user.

The detection device is a configurable unit that allows users to select a location of use and obstruction levels. Users select, set, and can alter the detection and obstruction levels. The tolerance level setting tells the device what conditions are...