Haptic Navigation Device

Hello,

I am a student at Loughborough University currently designing a new haptic navigation device for the visually impaired.

In order to produce a product which is helpful and avoids misconceptions, I would like to have a few short chats/interviews with visually impaired persons.

If anyone is happy to lend me a little bit of their time, I'm sure I can bring some mince pies or to make it worth while.

I would really appreciate any help that you can give me.

Kind regards,

Joe

Comments (10)

robertjevans's picture

Reply to Joseph Stainthorpe by robertjevans

Hi Joe,

What are you working on? I am working for a company called OxSight making AR glasses for VI people. We are always interested in new ideas. Get in touch if you want to chat.

Rob Evans

Joseph Stainthorpe's picture

Reply to robertjevans by Joseph Stainthorpe

Hello Rob Evans,

It's a haptic cane which uses GPS navigation in conjunction with a haptic compass to direct visually impaired persons around. Yes, I have heard of OxSight and would certainly be willing to chat. My email is j.stainthorpe-14@student.lboro.ac.uk.

Kind regards,

Joe

Tim Moderator's picture

Reply to Joseph Stainthorpe by Tim Moderator

Hi. Great to have you on here and I'm quite excited by your idea (my boss got me to read out the conversation because "You can't say 'Oh Genius!' three times and then not tell me what you're excited about").

Thanks for putting it in "Technology". It's quite important that people put things in the right place. With that in mind, if you want to make a more formal request for aid from the community such as a survey please make sure you post it in the "Play your part" board which is here for that purpose.

I'm guessing the idea is that the cane sets off some kind of vibration when one is heading in the right direction? This is useful beyond the use of those who are completely unsighted. I am planning to use a long cane at night when my partial sightedness comes closer to blindness but at the moment I use google maps at night to find my way home. I find it useful to have the visual cues on the screen which is bright and can be held close to ensure that I can work out where I'm going especially as a lot of junctions which I can tell apart by daylight look identical to me at night. The thing is I can't see me being able to have the screen in my hand and concentrate on sweeping my cane back and forth. The extra haptic feedback of your cane combined with audio from my google maps and the tiny amount of vision I have in the dark would be enough (hopefully) to keep me on track.

Joseph Stainthorpe's picture

Reply to Tim Moderator by Joseph Stainthorpe

Hello Tim,

Brilliant, lovely to hear that someone from the user group that I'm designing for appreciates the concept so far. It is proving impossible to get responses through surveys and opportunities to interview persons with visual impairment.

Actually I'm trying to steer clear of vibration as much as possible as I would imagine it would become rather annoying after 5 minutes. Instead the handle moves to give intuitive directional feedback as it is analogue which allows for more incremental feedback as oppose to just left or right. That is precisely what I've found from my research, no one wants to hold an extra device in their hand, especially as a large proportion of older VI person also require a walking stick.

I hope this doesn't sound unprofessional, but I am really struggling to find VI persons to talk to about their experiences. Do you know of anyone who would be happy to give 20 minutes of their time to have a chat - even yourself would be extremely appreciated? (The mince pie offer still stands.)

Kind regards,

Joe

-InTheWorldOfTheBlind-'s picture

Reply to Joseph Stainthorpe by -InTheWorldOfTheBlind-

I'd be willing to give some time outside of working hours. We don't always recommend or encourage cross-posting but in this case I think leaving this in Technology and also posting it in "Play your part" might have some positive effect as that particular board is advertised on our "RNIB Connect Radio" station during a slot of the same name. Posting a discussion on that board would therefore be more likely to come to the attention of those looking to contribute. I'll email you separately so we can arrange to meet up some point in the near future.

-InTheWorldOfTheBlind-'s picture

Reply to -InTheWorldOfTheBlind- by -InTheWorldOfTheBlind-

Oops. Just realised that you have no contact details on here.

-InTheWorldOfTheBlind-'s picture

Reply to -InTheWorldOfTheBlind- by -InTheWorldOfTheBlind-

Linking the AR glasses with the cane could open up some amazing possibilities (bluetooth or device wifi).
Cane+Glasses+earpiece(s)+Phone (in pocket) even more so. So I hope you and Rob have some interesting conversations

-InTheWorldOfTheBlind-'s picture

Reply to -InTheWorldOfTheBlind- by -InTheWorldOfTheBlind-

We have a department at the RNIB that does product research with the blind and visually impaired during and/or after the product development phase but it IS on a consultation basis at present so business level fees would apply.

I don't know your budget so whether this is a possible part of your strategy is dependant on what you think.

If you're interested then let me know and I'll also put you in touch with them.

A couple of caveats in my case. I am only partially sighted so testing the cane at night might be a better fit and I haven't yet had long cane training so I'm unsure of how much use I'd be.

Joseph Stainthorpe's picture

Reply to -InTheWorldOfTheBlind- by Joseph Stainthorpe

That would be amazing and so helpful! Thank you for also being lenient on the location of this post it is helping immensely - I have also posted it on Play Your Part as suggested. Fantastic, I can meet at your discretion, my email is j.stainthorpe-14@student.lboro.ac.uk. I look forward to hearing from you.

Joseph Stainthorpe's picture

Reply to Joseph Stainthorpe by Joseph Stainthorpe

And in reply to 'InTheWorldOfTheBlind', being a student, my budget is pretty limited. But I would be very interested to find out what you can offer as it may still be useful to me. Do you have any contact details that you can give me? At this stage, any input is appreciated and all opinions are valuable. My email is j.stainthorpe-14@student.lboro.ac.uk.