"As an extension of my research on wearable computing, we will develop a Navatar Glass App designed to give users a more efficient way to navigate indoor spaces,"
Folmer, his colleague
Navatar will be modified to be used on Google Glass, a hands-free, head-mounted device that can be worn as eyewear. Using Google Glass will free up one of the user's hands while navigating, which may help with more accurately confirming the presence of landmarks along the provided path and improve the localization accuracy of the system.
"Our research is motivated by the belief that a disability can be turned into an innovation driver," Folmer, a computer-science and engineering department faculty member, said. "Similar to how Velcro was invented when mankind tried to put a man on the moon, I believe that when solving hard interaction design problems for users with unique, extreme abilities, such as blind users, there is a large potential for discovering solutions that may benefit anyone. Though Navatar was specifically developed for users with visual impairments, sighted users can also use it with a potentially higher localization accuracy."
The Navatar on Glass project is a timely research project with a high social impact, as the number of blind people is expected to double in the next decade. This award will strengthen Folmer's collaborations with
Keywords for this news article include: Technology, Engineering,
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