Navigation Devices for People with Low Vision





Navigation Devices for People with Low Vision

White Cane

  • This is the most prominent navigation aid used by people with partial and complete loss of vision. The said person swings the cane back and forth rhythmically across their body towards their travel trajectory.
  • The device helps them to discern their environment through their other senses mostly auditory and tactile cues. The information provided about the terrain includes changes in elevation and other obstacles.
  • The symbolic white cane is also for the benefit of the normal bystanders, to make them aware of the person’s deprived situation in order to facilitate the person’s navigation when necessary (Maidenbaum et al. 1355).

Dog Aid

  • The dog guide is a popular device among the blind. Nonetheless, the efficacy of the said navigation device depends on the familiarity of the person with low vision with the particular place.
  • The individual receiving the assistance gives orders to the dog to change directions. The dog is useful in helping the individual avoid obstacles. The onus is on the individual to discern the timing to perform functions like cross the road (Maidenbaum et al. 1355).

Global Positioning Systems

  • The person with limited or complete loss or vision can use the help of portable GPS devices to verify their locations when lost. The rise of the smart phone era has made the said GPS devices readily accessible to majority of the low vision populace used in conjunction with other visual impairment applications.
  • The devices have screen readers enabling the user to hear the information. In turn, the user gives voice commands when they need to change the navigation modes and even listen to music. All this is possible thanks to the built-in speech recognition (Hanlu et al. 34).

Augmented Reality Glasses

  • This is specifically for people who retain part of their vision in the retina even when labeled legally blind. The optical aids are still proving the concept but have the potential to be the greatest navigation device for the visually impaired.
  • A built in deep sensor working in concert with software simplifies the features surrounding objects by highlighting their outlines (Hanlu et al 45).


Works Cited

Hanlu, Ye, Malu Meethu, Oh Uran, and Findlater Leah. Current and Future Mobile and Wearable Device Use by People with Visual Impairments. ACM, 2 Penn Plaza, Suite 701, New York, NY 10121-0701, USA, 2014. Print.

Maidenbaum, S, D.-R Chebat, S Levy-Tzedek, and A Amedi. “Navigation Patterns and Spatial Perception with and Without Vision Using Assistive Technology for the Blind.” Journal of Vision. 14.10 (2014): 1355. Print

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