Range sensor-based assistive technology solutions for people with visual impairment: a review

Sajjad Manzoor, Saqaf Iftikhar, Ilyas Ayub, Arqum Shahid, Auwar Ul Haq, Waisf Muhammad, Muhammad Shafique

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: There are about 2.2 billion people with visual impairment all over the world. In order to improve the quality of life for visually impaired people, various devices have been developed that support the users to make them capable of performing everyday work. There have been considerable advancements in the development of assistive devices over the last few decades. This work aims to review the research work of past decade to explore the technologies used in the assistive devices for the mobility of the people with visual impairment. It focuses on range sensors based (RSB) solutions and to present a comprehensive comparison for researchers to improve the quality of the assistive devices. Methods: In order to improve life quality of about 2.2 billion people with visual impairment in the world, various assistive devices have been developed. This work aims to review the research work of past decade to explore the technologies used in the assistive devices for the mobility of the people with visual impairment. It focuses on RSB solutions and their comparison. Results: Various devices developed or the people with visual impairment, in last decade are described along with their workings. Authors also introduced, their own, newly developed assistive device for the people with visual impairment. The feedback from the people with visual impairment, about assistive technology, is also included in the paper. Conclusions: This study will benefit researchers developing assistive devices to help for the mobility of the people with visual impairment. Through user feedback and evaluation of the assistive devices, the authors have come to the conclusion that performance, weight and cost of the assistive devices are always important considerations to make the assistive devices more popular among their users.Implication for rehabilitation Although assistive device cannot rehabilitate a visually impaired person, range sensor-based assistive device may have following implications: •Use of assistive device is growing, and performance, weight and cost of assistive devices are always important considerations so that proposed technology solution should widely be accepted and adopted by the visually impaired people. •The adaptability and acceptability of an assistive device by the visually impaired people must be considered during design phase. •Proposed assistive technological solutions should meet all the needed functions. •Performance of these devices should be assessed in application context so that these devices may help the visually impaired to perform their tasks independently. •At the end, a new light weight and low-cost device developed by authors, is also given, that could be used to assist the visually impaired people to move independently.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalDisability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2022

Keywords

  • Assistive technology (AT)
  • electronic travel aid (ETA)
  • range sensors based assistive devices
  • visually impaired

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Rehabilitation
  • Speech and Hearing

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