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Distance Assistance System

Principal researcher

Name: David Dewhurst

Contact details: info@stve.org

Website: www.stve.org

Project details

Start date:
End date: Ongoing

Description: There are many technological aids for blind people, for example electronic travel aids (ETAs) and speaking reading machines. However certain information is difficult for automatic devices to interpret: shape and object recognition is only practical for particular items that are presented in a controlled way, e.g. optical character recognition (OCR). Blind people may prefer the flexible help and non-robotic voice that a person can provide, but such assistance is not always available. The "Distant Assistance System" as envisaged would provide blind people (or other sense-impaired people e.g. deaf people) with assistance from other people on a planned or ad-hoc basis, by matching clients to volunteer assistants, who may be located far from the clients. The Internet allows images and sound to be sent near-instantaneously between people located around the world. The suggested system would use a dedicated Internet website and standard communication methods. Video and audio data would be "streamed" in "realtime" from the clients to the assistants, who would describe the audiovisuals, give mobility advice etc. The feedback would be returned to the clients near-instantaneously, and in a modality that they can comprehend.

Other organisations involved in this project

Last updated: 13/03/2010