in collaboration with COST219ter, Ask-It, BCS HCI Group and Aunt-Sue
Seminar on Location-based Services for People with Disabilities
10th May 2006, London
Dr Jan-Ingvar Lindström - Sharing - Past, Present and Proposed Projects in Sweden
Dr John Peifer (Wireless Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center, Atlanta, USA) - Location-based Accessibility Information among Communities of Interest
Providing relevant information based on an individual's location is not new, but recent technological developments have significantly changed the potential for the economically viable provision of a large range of services.
There have been many pilot schemes using fixed infrared and radio beacons to assist blind pedestrians. For more general outdoor use, global positioning systems (GPS) based on signals from satellites have been used in conjunction with digital maps to provide blind people with navigational information.
There have been various experiments in using location information from mobile telecommunications infrastructure. However it is the introduction of third generation systems that have made such information more generally available. In some cases these systems are integrated with WiFi or RFID systems to improve the accuracy particularly in indoor environments (eg a shopping centre or railway station). UWB (ultrawideband) potentially offers exciting possibilities.
A further step is to integrate such positioning systems with an intelligent agent that knows the particular requirements of the individual user. For instance, it may know the turning circle of the user's electric wheelchair so that it can plan routes that are accessible to that individual. Also the intelligent agent can provide the information in an appropriate modality for the individual user (eg a visual display if the user is deaf).
The seminar will explore the role of location-based services to help people with disabilities, and hear from a number of projects active in this area.
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