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Wegwijs – Streetwise

Within my project Wegwijs I aim to enlarge the personal independence of blind and visually impaired individuals, recognizing the critical necessity of navigation and guidance.

The emphasis in this project is on co-creation. The input and guidance of a select group of people on the blind and visually impaired spectrum played a central role from beginning to end within this design process. All thoroughly concluding the significant role that personal independence plays in the overall quality of life, regardless of someone’s disability.

The shortcoming of navigation apps:

In the present age, we are inhabiting a technology-centric epoch where individuals are mostly unable to operate without their mobile devices. Seeking directions without an application appears to be an insurmountable task. Regardless, people with a visual disability, who stand to gain the most from these technological breakthroughs, are strangely overlooked from a commercial perspective. Adapting the information flow of directions and navigation, combining this with an additional supporting tactile orientation device has the potential to significantly enhance the independence and mobility of blind and visually impaired people. Allowing them to navigate within public spaces more confidently and efficiently.

Wegwijs app – foccused on diractions:

The Wegwijs app features interactive maps and directions that can be accessed through a smartphone app or as a standalone device, providing an intuitive and user-friendly interface for blind and visually impaired users. A two-split in the audio information is implemented. Firstly, describing the traffic situation takes away unknowing, worry, and distress. Secondly, the manageability in distance estimation, the app uses steps instead of meters. For example, knowing that the individual is crossing tram rails and it takes 6 steps.

Wegwijs device – focussed on oriantation:

The prototype utilizes Seeeduino hardware connected to a radius compass with three vibration disks. Placed in a configuration of top/left and bottom/right. The system’s primary objective is to maintain a consistent ticking vibration across all three disks when the user walks in the correct direction. The compass angle has a five-degree tolerance to account for slight deviations from the correct path synchronized with the GPS of the Wegwijs app. If the user veers off course, the vibration disk on the side requiring correction (top/left or bottom/right) will pulse to indicate the necessary adjustment.