A smart wearable navigation system for visually impaired

Michael Trent, Ahmed Abdelgawad, Kumar Yelamarthi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Smart devices are becoming more common in our daily lives; they are being incorporated in buildings, houses, cars, and public places. Moreover, this technological revolution, known as the Internet of Things (IoT), brings us new opportunities. A variety of navigation systems has been developed to assist blind people. Yet, none of these systems are connected to the IoT. The objective of this paper is to implement a low cost and low power IoT navigation system for blind people. The system consists of an array of ultrasonic sensors that are mounted on a waist belt to survey the scene, iBeacons to identify the location, and a Raspberry Pi to do the data processing. The Raspberry Pi uses the ultrasonic sensors to detect the obstacles, and provide audio cues via a Bluetooth headset to the user. iBeacons will be deployed at different locations with each having a unique ID. In the cloud, there is a database for all the iBeacons attached with the corresponding information e.g. address and information about the place. The Raspberry Pi detects the iBeacon’s ID and sends it to the cloud, accordingly the cloud sends back the information attached to this ID to the Raspberry Pi that converts the text to audio and plays it via a Bluetooth headset to the user. Tests demonstrate that the system is accurate within the threshold radius and functions as a navigational assistant.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSmart Objects and Technologies for Social Good - 2nd International Conference, GOODTECHS 2016, Proceedings
EditorsOmbretta Gaggi, Armir Bujari, Pietro Manzoni, Claudio Palazzi, Johann M. Marquez-Barja
PublisherSpringer Verlag
Number of pages9
ISBN (Print)9783319619484
StatePublished - 2017
Event2nd EAI International Conference on Smart Objects and Technologies for Social Good, GOODTECHS 2016 - Venice, Italy
Duration: Nov 30 2016Dec 1 2016

Publication series

NameLecture Notes of the Institute for Computer Sciences, Social-Informatics and Telecommunications Engineering, LNICST
Volume195 LNICST
ISSN (Print)1867-8211


Conference2nd EAI International Conference on Smart Objects and Technologies for Social Good, GOODTECHS 2016


  • Audio feedback
  • Navigation assistance
  • Ultrasonic sensor
  • Visual impairment


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