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Blind Persons GPS

A super accurate GPS Navigation system for the sight impaired.
  [vote for,

I was running the other day (waddling more like) and noticed a blind person being told where he was going by another person and it occured to me that if they made a super accurate speaking GPS device(also with vibration alert!) Then "blind" people could preset their destination and the GPS would guide them along. Letting them know if they were not travelling straight along a path (more than 1/2 a metre from where they should be in any direction) where the roads to cross are etc etc. It wouldn't need to be much bigger than a palm pc/ipaq and could also incorporate telephone etc. It could hang on a belt or something leaving hands free to carry a cane (to detect changes in path surfaces. I guess they could programme in their own warnings on various paths (stuff not included on GPS database i.e. low hanging branch, annoying dog.) Guide dogs need to be trained along certain routes and otherwise act as collision detection, this would enable additional routes to downloaded quickly and easily.
Peticelli, Oct 14 2003

GPS to Help the Blind Navigate http://www.esa.int/...OS1VED_index_0.html
"More autonomy for blind people thanks to satellite navigation." [Detly, Oct 04 2004]


       This would only work if every sidewalk and intersection were plotted in the GPS, which is not currently the case. Consumer GPS devices are only accurate to about 5 metres, so think the blind person is going to be walking off a lot of curbs.   

       The system also can't take into account random obstacles, such as garbage cans, parked cars and other things.   

       In all, I think that a guide dog, which can account for all of these things, is still a better choice.
Cedar Park, Oct 14 2003

       Actually, this is baked, in an experimental sense. A combination of GPS and some other technology to overcome [CP]'s point. I'll see if I can find it.   

       Oh look, fourth link on a google search. Fancy that.   

       "The accuracy given by GPS is not precise enough and not guaranteed. A new tool, developed by ESA could be the breakthrough: EGNOS (European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service). EGNOS corrects the GPS signals and gives an accuracy of 2 m while GPS provides an accuracy of only 15 to 20 m. It also warns the users of any problem with the signal thus giving integrity information."
Detly, Oct 14 2003

       It was my understanding that the US Military had deliberately made GPS inaccurate for everyone but them (and their allies) why should your enemy benefit too soon from GPS. However, I believe that the inaccuracy had been lifted in the last 2 years due to the diversified use of GPS. Thus I thought that GPS was more accurate now and could be used for such a purpose. Re: random objects I do mention that they should carry a cane or something to detect those types of things. My general idea was that they should be able to travel from A to B without need of anyone but themselves (AND GPS Navigator AND collision avoidance system). Maybe such a system AND a dog would work well, certainly GPS could orienent a blind person fairly accurately as to their location, a user specific system would have to be notated according to the needs of the specific group (i.e. car navigation doesn't usually include foot paths etc)
Peticelli, Oct 16 2003

       Imagine seeing a totally blind person groping along with his cane, then somehow ducking just at the right time to avoid a low-hanging branch. How mystifying!
phundug, Oct 16 2003

       rrghghgh Blind Person's GPS or Blind Persons' GPS ? just chose (-)
neilp, Oct 16 2003

       [neilp] No, it's not owned by blind people, it is designed for blind people. "Persons" is a synonym of "people" which is the plural form of "person."   

       If you want to complain about "persons", complain about the fact that each device is intended to be used by one person. For example, a "people mover" which moves lots of people simultaneously, could be called a "persons mover", but such a device designed to move only one person should be called a "person mover", so this device should be called a "blind person GPS."   

       "Blind Persons GPS" would be correct if the idea was to augment the GPS system to broadcast additional information for blind people (for example, real time updated info about the state of crosswalk signals). In that case, the one system would be designed for all blind people and could therefore be accurately called "Blind Persons GPS."   

       Geesh, some people sure are picky :)
scad mientist, Oct 16 2003

       I think you have to throw in a radar/sonar guidance system for this to work well.   

       [I thought someone had suggested a blind person's sonar screen here before, but I don't find it.]
DrCurry, Oct 16 2003

       [scad] surely a people mover is called a people mover because we're moving a collective, not a plural ?
neilp, Oct 16 2003

       It's a good idea, but you don't have to have it talking - you could have it poke their hand or something.
my-nep, Oct 20 2003

       (blind person making a wrong turn) Ow! Damned hand-poking GPS.
Worldgineer, Oct 20 2003


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