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We analyze the application Clew Official Video

Video review

  • Clew Guidance Screen Example
  • Clew Guidance Screen Example
  • Settings screen
  • Help screen
  • Guidance start screen
  • Form to contact the developer
  • Screen displayed while recording the trail
  • Screen to save the route
  • Home Screen
  • Reference point screen
  • Screen with the list of saved routes
  • Screen to select the direction of the route
  • Screen to rate the application
  • Screen showing the mark for guidance

What does it consist of:

November 2019

Clew is an application of the research group of the Olin College of Engineering route tracing pre-designed for the blind or visually impaired. Facilitates guidance and navigation indoors through voice and sound effects. It is supported by Apple's ARKit technology available from iOS11 devices, capable of managing Augmented Reality (AR). 

The basic functionality of Clew is to record and save routes indoors, although it also works outdoors determined by very optimal conditions. Once these routes are stored, they will be available to people with visual disabilities, who will be able to follow the route independently. The route is simplified through "reference points" where relevant actions take place: a turn, change of direction, etc. The route will be available to be traveled in both directions, from beginning to end. 

Available in Spanish from November 2019.

Forms of Acquisition:

This application is free and can be downloaded from the Apple Store:

 

Technical verification:

2019 August

Clew allows the guidance of blind people indoors, although it is also possible to use this application outdoors under certain conditions, thanks to the use of the device's camera.
In order to be able to do the guidance, first it is necessary to establish the reference point of beginning of the route. Once this is recorded, a recording of the route is made using the camera and it is saved in the list of saved routes. The application recognizes objects on the route, as well as directions, which will later be used to guide the person.
When the route has been saved, the user can go to the beginning or end of it, and start the route from the list of stored routes. From that moment, the application begins guiding the person through voice messages in English that tell them whether to continue straight, turn left or right, or turn around. In addition, throughout the journey the application emits sound beeps that indicate whether the user is going in the right direction or not. If it is twisted slightly, the application stops emitting the audible beeps and the user knows that he must move the device to find the correct direction.
The application is free, and it is only available for IOS devices. In addition, all the interface and the spoken messages are in English, although in this analysis we have chosen to translate both the spoken messages and the interface for a better understanding.

Home Screen

When the application is opened, the screen displays the camera and the buttons for Waypoint, Record Trail, Saved Routes, Feedback, Settings and Help.

Reference point

Reference point screen

From here you can record the starting waypoint of a route.
The display has three buttons. The center button says "Start alignment countdown" and allows you to record the waypoint. The button on the left says "Enter text to help you remember this landmark" and allows you to associate a text to the landmark. The button on the right says "Record audio to help you remember this waypoint" and allows you to associate a voice message with the waypoint.
When the start alignment countdown button is pressed, the application starts a countdown, displaying the countdown with large numbers and audible beeps. After finishing, the application captures the waypoint that will be used as the starting point of the route.
Once the reference point has been recorded, a screen identical to the initial screen is presented, with three main buttons. The middle button says "Record path" and allows you to start recording the route. "The button on the right says" Waypoint "and allows you to re-record the waypoint. The button on the left says" Saved routes "and access the list of saved routes.

Record path

Screen displayed while recording the routeScreen to save the route

Pressing the Record trail button starts recording the trail. The user has to carry out the route keeping the mobile device raised in front of him. After finishing the tour, a screen is displayed where the name can be assigned to the route, which will be stored in the list of saved routes.

Saved Routes

Screen with saved routesScreen to select the direction of the routeScreen showing guidance mark

This is the list with all the routes that the user has stored on their device, as shown in the image on the left. When selecting one of the routes, the application asks the user for its address, that is, to start it from the beginning or from the end, as can be seen in the central image. After this, the application begins to guide the user, placing him in the correct direction and showing the guidance mark on the screen, as can be seen in the photograph on the right. The application then begins to emit audible beeps and guide you to the end of the route with spoken messages such as turn left or right, or go straight. At the end of the tour, the application shows a button where the application can be evaluated.

Screen to rate the application

On this screen, the user can evaluate the application positively or negatively by using the buttons for this purpose.

Settings

Settings screen

In this option, different aspects of the application can be configured, such as the unit of measurement used. You can also configure other parameters such as whether you want the application to emit sounds or use spoken messages.

Help

Help screen

This button allows quick access to the help of the application from any point of the application.

Feedback

Form to contact the developer

From here you can send a message to the application developer. To do this, a form is presented where the user can enter the message they want and provide, if they wish, some means of contact so that the developer can contact the user.

Tests performed

Different tests have been carried out, both indoors and outdoors, with very positive results. In all cases, the application has correctly guided the user from the starting point to the end by means of audible beeps and spoken messages.
The tests carried out indoors have been carried out inside a building floor full of tables and chairs, as well as in the corridor of a building with different doors and rooms. In both cases, the application has correctly guided the user through the route, both starting from the starting mark, and in the opposite direction of the route.
The tests carried out outdoors have been carried out in an environment without traffic and with great light, and the application, under these conditions, has worked correctly.

Conclusion

It is a great tool for blind or deafblind people for indoor guidance, especially for large venues such as a hospital or train station.
Guidance is very precise thanks to the audible beeps and the spoken messages that the application emits. However, these messages, as well as the application interface, are only available in English, which can be a barrier for many people without English skills.
Although the application works perfectly and is very accurate, the high battery consumption of the camera and the heating of the device are a common problem in applications that make intensive use of this element, so the use of this application should be restricted exclusively to what is necessary.

Highlights

  • Precise guidance.
  • Well labeled.
  • Free app.

Improvement points

  • It could be studied how to improve battery consumption in future versions.
  • Although the application works correctly, you must be careful with the terminal heating up.
  • The translation of the interface into other languages ​​can be suggested for future versions.
  • Development of a version for Android devices can be suggested.
  • Design and manufacturing: 5 5 on.
    5
    This section refers to the physical aspects and details of the manufacturing of the technological product
  • User experience: 4 5 on.
    4
    This criterion is linked to the user's assessment when relating to the technical product or application.
  • Technical benefits: 5 5 on.
    5
    Description of the quality of the technical specifications of the technological solution
  • Accessibility: 5 5 on.
    5
    It is the degree to which people can use or access a product, technological solution or service, regardless of their technical, cognitive or physical abilities

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