ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201809.0483.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Space Science Keywords: visually impaired people; mobile devices; assistive cartography.
Online: 25 September 2018 (10:32:06 CEST)
The vision can be used to recognize images and to improve mental pictures of environments. Visually impaired people feel a lack of aid for their independent or facilitated urban mobility, which can be achieved with the use of mobile devices and cartographic tools using audiovisual outputs. This work raises issues about urban mobility for the accessibility of visually impaired people in areas still unexplored by them, it uses cartographic technologies in electronic devices. For a preview of the test area located in Monte Carmelo (MG), a tactile model was used to form the first image of the eight volunteers. Results were obtained through research with not blind and blind individuals, it validated the use of áreas’s mobile registration prototype positioning in field or not, when the coordinates from the objects are known for registration. The results indicate that both the tactile model and the audiovisual prototype can be used by blind and non-blind people. Above all, the prototype proved to be a viable and adequate option for decision making in urban environments. New ways of presenting data to blind or otherwise blind people can still be studied.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201803.0058.v2
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Information Technology & Data Management Keywords: indoor navigation; wayfinding; visually impaired navigation; sensor fusion
Online: 27 December 2018 (11:37:53 CET)
Indoor navigation systems must deal with absence of GPS signals, since they are only available in outdoor environments. Therefore, indoor systems have to rely upon other techniques for positioning users. Recently various indoor navigation systems have been designed and developed to help visually impaired people. In this paper an overview of some existing indoor navigation systems for visually impaired people are presented and they are compared from different perspectives. The evaluated techniques are ultrasonic systems, RFID-based solutions, computer vision aided navigation systems, ans smartphone-based applications.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201808.0369.v4
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Other Keywords: schizophrenia; impaired neurogenesis; sleep-wake cycle; non-REM sleep
Online: 20 November 2018 (07:06:35 CET)
Through the use of a simplified model of consciousness this paper illustrates the symptoms of schizophrenia linked to neocortical structures and functions. It makes the case that the bewildering and varied presentation of symptoms in schizophrenia can be analyzed and explained using such models. The model is used to illustrate the central thesis of the paper, that schizophrenia is a disorder of neurogenesis which leads to progressive neurochemical, functional and neurophysiological changes that create the characteristic behaviors of the disease.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201803.0085.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, General Medical Research Keywords: occupational health; diabetes; glycaemia impairment; impaired fasting glucose; adherence; compliance
Online: 12 March 2018 (07:07:52 CET)
Worldwide epidemiological data indicates insufficient diagnosis of diabetes as an increasing problem of public health. Searching for solutions in this disadvantageous situation, occupational medicine health services seem to open up a unique opportunity to recognize some abnormalities in early steps, especially among the asymptomatic working-age population. 316 workers underwent obligatory prophylactic examinations. In patients with twice assayed FGL ≥ 126 mg/dl (7.0 mmol/l) the additional intervention was implemented, including further diagnostic process and therapy in General Practice (GP), followed by examination by an occupational health specialist within 3 months. The diagnosis of previously unknown diabetes was established among 2.5% of examined workers. All patients referred to the GP due to detected glycaemia impairment visited their doctor and finished the diagnostic process, took up therapy constrained by the occupational health physician to show the effects of intervention within 3 months. Prophylactic medical check-ups allow improved compliance and medical surveillance over glycaemia impairment in patients with prediabetes states, unknown diabetes or uncontrolled clinical course of diabetes. Considering fasting glucose level during mandatory prophylactic examination helps effective prevention of diabetes and its complications and thus give public health system benefits.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202207.0068.v1
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Analysis Keywords: blind; visually impaired; assistive devices; object recognition; navigation; virtual assistants; Smart Cities; Saudi Arabia
Online: 5 July 2022 (08:24:38 CEST)
Visually impaired people encounter many impediments and challenges in their lives such as related to their mobility, education, communication, use of technology, and others. This paper reports the results of an online survey to understand the requirements and challenges blind and visually impaired people face in their daily lives regarding the availability and use of digital devices. The survey was conducted among the blind and visually impaired in Saudi Arabia using digital forms. A total of 164 people responded to the survey most of them using the VoiceOver function. People were asked about the use of smart devices, special devices, operating systems, object recognition apps, indoor and outdoor navigation apps, virtual digital assistive apps, the purpose (navigation, education, etc.) of and difficulty in using these apps, the type of assistance needed, the reliance on others in using the assistive technologies, and the level of satisfaction from the existing assistive technologies. The majority of the participants were 18 – 65 years old with 13% under 18 and 3% above 65. Sixty-five percent of the participants were graduates or postgraduates and the rest only had secondary education. White Cane, mobile phones, Apple iOS, Envision, Seeing AI, VoiceOver, and Google Maps were the most used devices, technologies, and apps used by the participants. Navigation at 39.6% was the most reported purpose of the special devices followed by education (34.1%) and office jobs (12.8%). The information from this survey along with a detailed literature review of academic and commercial technologies for the visually impaired was used to establish the research gap, design requirements, and a comprehensive understanding of the relevant landscape, which in turn was used to design smart glasses called LidSonic for visually impaired.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201907.0138.v1
Subject: Engineering, Electrical & Electronic Engineering Keywords: 3D printing; additive manufacturing; assistive devices; blind; obstacle avoidance; sensors; sensory substitution; ultrasonic sensing; ultrasound sensing; visually impaired
Online: 10 July 2019 (06:24:05 CEST)
Nineteen million Americans have significant vision loss. Over 70% of these are not employed full-time, and more than a quarter live below the poverty line. Globally, there are 36 million blind people, but less than half use white canes or more costly commercial sensory substitutions. The quality of life for visually impaired people is hampered by the resultant lack of independence. To help alleviate these challenges this study reports on the development of a low-cost (<$24), open-source navigational support system to allow people with the lost vision to navigate, orient themselves in their surroundings and avoid obstacles when moving. The system can be largely made with digitally distributed manufacturing using low-cost 3-D printing/milling. It conveys point-distance information by utilizing the natural active sensing approach and modulates measurements into haptic feedback with various vibration patterns within the distance range of 3 m. The developed system allows people with lost vision to solve the primary tasks of navigation, orientation, and obstacle detection (>20 cm stationary, moving up to 0.5 m/s) to ensure their safety and mobility. Sighted blindfolded participants successfully demonstrated the device for eight primary everyday navigation and guidance tasks including indoor and outdoor navigation and avoiding collisions with other pedestrians.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201806.0302.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Cell & Developmental Biology Keywords: cerebral ischemia, blood brain barrier, endothelial cells, impaired mitochondria, neurovascular unit, regenerative medicine, stem cell therapy, transfer of healthy mitochondria, vasculature
Online: 19 June 2018 (14:27:25 CEST)
Stroke remains a major cause of death and disability in the United States and around the world. Solid safety and efficacy profiles of novel stroke therapeutics have been generated in the laboratory, but most failed in clinical trials. Investigations into the pathology and treatment of the disease remain a key research endeavor in advancing scientific understanding and clinical applications. In particular, cell-based regenerative medicine, specifically stem cells transplantation, may hold promise as stroke therapy because grafted cells and their components may recapitulate the growth and function of the neurovascular unit, which arguably represents the alpha and omega of stroke brain pathology and recovery. Recent evidence has implicated mitochondria, organelles with a central role in energy metabolism and stress response, in stroke progression. Recognizing that stem cells offer a source of healthy mitochondria, potentially transferrable into ischemic cells, may provide a new therapeutic tool. To this end, deciphering cellular and molecular processes underlying dysfunctional mitochondria may reveal innovative strategies for stroke therapy. Here, we review recent studies capturing the intimate participation of mitochondrial impairment in stroke pathology, and showcase promising methods of healthy mitochondria transfer into ischemic cells, to critically evaluate the potential of mitochondria-based stem cell therapy for stroke.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202208.0215.v1
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence & Robotics Keywords: visually impaired; smart mobility; sensors; LiDAR; ultrasonic; deep learning; obstacle detection; obstacle recognition; assistive tools; edge computing; green computing; sustainability; Arduino Uno; Smart App
Online: 11 August 2022 (11:12:58 CEST)
Over a billion people around the world are disabled, among them, 253 million are visually impaired or blind, and this number is greatly increasing due to ageing, chronic diseases, poor environment, and health. Despite many proposals, the current devices and systems lack maturity and do not completely fulfill user requirements and satisfaction. Increased research activity in this field is required to encourage the development, commercialization, and widespread acceptance of low-cost and affordable assistive technologies for visual impairment and other disabilities. This paper proposes a novel approach using a LiDAR with a servo motor and an ultrasonic sensor to collect data and predict objects using deep learning for environment perception and navigation. We adopted this approach in a pair of smart glasses, called LidSonic V2.0, to enable the identification of obstacles for the visually impaired. The LidSonic system consists of an Arduino Uno edge computing device integrated into the smart glasses and a smartphone app that transmits data via Bluetooth. Arduino gathers data, operates the sensors on smart glasses, detects obstacles using simple data processing, and provides buzzer feedback to visually impaired users. The smartphone application collects data from Arduino, detects and classifies items in the spatial environment, and gives spoken feedback to the user on the detected objects. In comparison to image processing-based glasses, LidSonic uses far less processing time and energy to classify obstacles using simple LiDAR data, according to several integer measurements. We comprehensively describe the proposed system's hardware and software design, construct their prototype implementations, and test them in real-world environments. Using the open platforms, WEKA and TensorFlow, the entire LidSonic system is built with affordable off-the-shelf sensors and a microcontroller board costing less than $80. Essentially, we provide designs of an inexpensive, miniature, green device that can be built into, or mounted on, any pair of glasses or even a wheelchair to help the visually impaired. Our approach affords faster inference and decision-making using relatively low energy with smaller data sizes as well as faster communications for the edge, fog, and cloud computing.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202107.0200.v1
Subject: Engineering, Electrical & Electronic Engineering Keywords: image quality assessment; image quality metrics; NR-IQAs; D-IQA; OCR accuracy; OCR prediction; OCR improvements; visual aids; visually impaired; reading aids; document images; text-based images
Online: 8 July 2021 (13:21:49 CEST)
For Visually impaired People (VIPs), the ability to convert text to sound can mean a new level of independence or the simple joy of a good book. With significant advances in Optical Character Recognition (OCR) in recent years, a number of reading aids are appearing on the market. These reading aids convert images captured by a camera to text which can then be read aloud. However, all of these reading aids suffer from a key issue – the user must be able to visually target the text and capture an image of sufficient quality for the OCR algorithm to function – no small task for VIPs. In this work, a Sound-Emitting Document Image Quality Assessment metric (SEDIQA) is proposed which allows the user to hear the quality of the text image and automatically captures the best image for OCR accuracy. This work also includes testing of OCR performance against image degradations, to identify the most significant contributors to accuracy reduction. The proposed No-Reference Image Quality Assessor (NR-IQA) is validated alongside established NR-IQAs and this work includes insights into the performance of these NR-IQAs on document images.