Bluetooth System Orients Blind and Sighted Pedestrians in Urban EnvironmentsBy British Journal of Healthcare Computing & Information Management,
Publication Date: October 2, 2008
Article describes Talking Point, an urban orientation system based on Bluetooth wireless technology that allows pedestrians to receive information about points of interest along their path as they pass them. Developed at the University of Michigan, the system is designed primarily for blind people to find certain buildings, such as public restrooms or police stations, but can also be used by people with poor or normal vision. Users carry a receiver about the size of a paperback book using voice or touch command options to receive information, including sales and specials going on inside businesses as they are passed. Bluetooth beacons, or tags, can be located at points of interest where business owners wish to give information to Talking Points users, and cities could tag such places as information centers and parks. In addition to developing the prototype receiver, researchers have tested their system in field simulations with visually-impaired and sighted people and conducted focus groups. Further development of the system might include the use of a cell phone as the receiver.
Published by: Birchley Hall Press (Website:http://www.birchleyhallpress.com)
Link to text: http://www.bjhcim.co.uk/news/2008/n810004.htm