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'SMART' Cane Project for the Visually Imapaired: Of a Direction Guidance System using GPS

Mohd Marzuq Imran, Hazlina Yusof


In the present time, travelling had been essential necessary for many people. People travel for various reasons, such as study, job, meet someone, buy groceries, leisure and so on. This task has been made easier with technology such as car, motor, and aircraft. However, the same thing cannot be apply for the visually impaired persons. Without the ability to see their surroundings, they are unable to know their own positions.
Usually, the visually impaired person navigates through a familiar place using either the white cane or the guide dog, or the combination of both. But this will only be useful if they want to go to familiar area. There are various devices that can help them to travel to unfamiliar place, but these devices are expensive. Since most of the visually impaired persons are in the low-income category, sophisticated gadgets are out of the question. In this project the aim is to develop an affordable ‘smart’ cane to integrate the Global Positioning System into the white cane, so that it can help the visually impaired persons to be more independent, increase their confidence level and help them to lead a better life. Since the device will be attached to the cane, it must be portable, easy to carry, lightweight and compact. This is done by using the Raspberry Pi, a credit-card sized single-board computer.

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