Skip to main content

App Warns of Obstacles for People with Vision Disability

  • Synopsis: Published: 2014-05-29 - New smartphone application warns people with vision disabilities of obstacles in their way to help them better navigate their environments - Ibnlive (ibnlive.in.com).

Main Document

Quote: "When the app calculated that an object was closer than about six feet, the phone vibrated or sounded a tone."

Researchers at the University of Alicante in Spain developed the app that uses a phone's built-in 3D camera to detect obstacles, and then produces a vibration or tone to alert the user.

The app was tested with nine participants who had vision disabilities severe enough that they couldn't see objects in their way without help.

During the test, the participants wore a cell phone around their necks on a lanyard, with the cameras facing forward.

As the subjects walked, the cameras picked up on objects.

Because the 3D camera has two lenses, the phone had binocular vision, just like human eyes. This allowed the software to estimate the distance to objects within its field of view.

When the app calculated that an object was closer than about six feet, the phone vibrated or sounded a tone.

As the obstacle got closer, the frequency of vibrations or sound level increased, 'LiveScience' reported.

The app isn't yet ready for prime time, researchers said, noting that the particular model of phone they used in their testing has been discontinued.

The team is developing a version for Google Glass, after winning a grant from the Vodafone Spain Foundation in 2013 for an earlier version of the app.

A full version is expected to be available in 2015.

The study appeared in the IEEE Journal of Biomedical Health Informatics .

Related Information:

  1. iPhone Apps for Disability and Vision Impairments - Greg DiFalco, Independent Living Aids LLC - (Mar 05, 2009)
    https://www.disabled-world.com/assistivedevices/apps/iphone-apps.php
  2. App for Blind Helps Take Notes on iPhone, iPad and iPod touch - American Foundation for the Blind - (Feb 05, 2013)
    https://www.disabled-world.com/assistivedevices/apps/accessnote.php
  3. Verizon Wireless Mobile Accessibility App for Visually Impaired - Verizon Wireless - (Aug 25, 2012)
    https://www.disabled-world.com/assistivedevices/apps/verizon-app.php


Information from our Health & Disability Apps for iPhone & Android Mobile Devices section - (Full List).

Submit event details, disability news, and assistive technology products for publishing on Disabled World


Loan Information for low income singles, families, seniors and disabled. Includes home, vehicle and personal loans.


Famous People with Disabilities - Well known people with disabilities and conditions who contributed to society.


List of awareness ribbon colors and their meaning. Also see our calendar of awareness dates.


Blood Pressure Chart - What should your blood pressure be. Also see information on blood group types and compatibility.



  1. Britain's Unproductive Disabled: A Continuing Moral Panic?
  2. Social Networking Helps Keep People Healthy
  3. Majority in Favor of Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) Screening
  4. When the Spinal Cord Takes Charge of Information Related to Movement




Citation



Errors: Disabled World is an independent website, your assistance in reporting outdated or inaccurate information is appreciated. If you find an error please let us know.

Disclaimer: Content on Disabled World is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. See our Terms of Service for more information.