About the solution
Chieko Asakawa was 14 when she became blind after an accident in a swimming pool. Since then she has innovated to help the visually impaired like her.
One of her innovations to help the blind is called NavCog. Working with IBM; she created a mobile application which is controlled by voice, and helps blind people navigate complicated indoor locations.
The app creates an indoor map through the use of Bluetooth beacons which are installed approximately every 10 meters. These beacons collect data and build the ‘fingerprints’ of the location. "We detect user position by comparing the users' current fingerprint to the server's fingerprint model," Asakawa explains. “Collecting large amounts of data creates a more detailed map than is available in an application like Google Maps, which doesn't work for indoor locations and cannot provide the level of detail blind and visually impaired people need.”
Christine Hunsinger, 70, and her husband Douglas Hunsinger, 65, both blind, said after trying the app "I felt more like I was in control of my own situation”, "it was really liberating to travel independently on my own”.
NavCog is currently available for free at the Apple Store.
This solution shall not include mention to the use of drugs, chemicals or biologicals (including food); invasive devices; offensive, commercial or inherently dangerous content. This solution was not medically validated. Proceed with caution! If you have any doubts, please consult with a health professional.
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