Duration 5min, Q&A 3min
The Le Chal - LVPEI Study - The First Experience of Navigation and Orientation Using the GPS Guided Haptic Shoe for the Blind and the Visually Impaired
To explore a novel method of navigation and orientation using the GPS guided haptic shoe for the visually impaired and the blind in defined paths.
10 patients (8 male and 2 female) in the age range of 20 - 45 years with visual impairment were asked to navigate set defined paths using vibration cues provided by the Haptic shoe. The inclusion criteria was BCVA of less than 20/400 in the better seeing eye or field less than 10 degrees. The exclusion criteria was individuals with mobility problem and any neuropathy of the foot. The technology called Le Chal uses haptic feedback to guide the user to turn and orient themselves in a path through the shoe. The shoe connects to the phone through bluetooth and provides the necessary information to navigate as it calculates the user's position through GPS. A unique vibration language was developed that would alert the users on when to turn right and left (Single Vibration) and also help in correct orientation in a path (Pulsed Vibration).
The Number of steps, time taken and number of orientation corrections were determined in various defined paths such as square, triangle, zig zag and random. The statistical analysis included bland altman plot and intraclass correlation coefficient which was used to assess the repeatability of the tests. Each patient walked 3 times clockwise and 3 times anticlockwise totalling 6 paths per shape. A total of 24 paths were navigated by the patient which were randomly assigned to them and they used the vibration cues from the shoe to navigate to the desired destination.
Results and Conclusion
238 paths out of the 240 walked were completed successfully. 98,193 steps were taken, a cumulative time of 26 hours 35 mins and 50 secs was recorded, a total of 6030 orientation corrections were given. The mean steps (SD) in all paths ranged from 393.3 (144.6) to 406.1 (159.2) clockwise and 439.8 (210.9) to 433.3 (195.9) anticlockwise. The mean time (SD) ranged from 4:33 (1.01) to 10:56 (2:58). The orientation corrections (SD) ranged from 25.5 (8.2) to 24.0 (9.9) clockwise and 27.8 (10.8) to 24.6 (10.0) anticlockwise. We present our first experience of navigation and orientation using the GPS guided haptic shoe in a controlled environment on defined paths. Further research is planned to test the shoe in navigation in residential and external environments to assess the feasibility of navigation and orientation in the external settings.
[ Keyword ]
GPS guided Haptic Shoe / Navigation / Orientation / Assisted Mobility for the Blind / Le Chal
[ Conflict of Interest ]