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Fundamental Issues in Wayfinding Technologies

Principal researcher

Name: Dr. John A. Brabyn

Contact details: The Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute, Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center (RERC), 2318 Fillmore Street, San Francisco, California 94115-1821, United States of America.
Tel: +1 415 345 2110; Fax: +1 415 345 8455
Email: brabyn@ski.org

Website: www.ski.org/Rehab/

Project details

Start date: 01/11/2006
End date: 01/11/2009

Description: This project conducts a broad spectrum of research to strengthen the foundations of wayfinding technology for assisting blind and visually impaired individuals to travel safely and independently. Rather than developing additional devices, this project addresses fundamental questions in wayfinding technology research: What information do blind and visually impaired travelers really want and need for safe independent travel? Why is there such an extreme range in navigational facility within the visually impaired population? What are the upper limits of the information that can be gained from traditional orientation and mobility training and environmental cues? How are the subtle auditory cues affected in subpopulations with different types of hearing loss? How should wayfinding performance, and barriers to it, be quantified so that future progress can be measured? What is the role of advance travel planning? By pursuing answers to these fundamental questions rather than adding more technology-driven devices to the existing selection, this research improves understanding about the efficacy and optimal applications of navigation and travel technologies and techniques. This provides a research-based foundation to inform and improve: (1) orientation and mobility instructional strategies; (2) the design of new wayfinding technologies; and (3) future research.

Other organisations involved in this project

This project is supported by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR).

Last updated: 20/03/2010