Researchers from the Pittsburgh International Airport, city in Pennsylvania, seek to increase the independence of travelers with visual disabilities.
Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have created an intelligent suitcase that warns blind users of imminent collisions, as well as an application for mobile phones can help people with visual disabilities navigate the airport terminals safely and independently.
The wheeled suitcase sounds the alarms when users are directed to a collision with a pedestrian, and the app provides step-by-step audio instructions to users on how to get to an exit door, a bathroom or a restaurant.
Both proved to be effective in a couple of user studies conducted at the Pittsburgh International Airport in Pennsylvania.
The smart suitcase, equipped with a camera, can detect other people and objects nearby.
Under the name of BBeep, the suitcase can help people navigate the airport terminals safely and independently. Thus, the smart suitcase, equipped with a camera, can detect other people and nearby objects.
It also calculates the trajectories on foot and is able to predict possible collisions, generating beeps that sound increasingly urgent the more imminent the collision is, which allows both the user and those close to each other to avoid each other.
In addition to the suitcase, a special application was developed that can be used to find restrooms, restaurants and other places at the airport. Once the destination is chosen, the application can read the instructions step by step while the person walks to the place.