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.
When the application is opened, the screen displays the camera and the buttons for Waypoint, Record Trail, Saved Routes, Feedback, Settings and Help.
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.
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.
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.
On this screen, the user can evaluate the application positively or negatively by using the buttons for this purpose.
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.
This button allows quick access to the help of the application from any point of the application.
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.
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.
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.
- Precise guidance.
- Well labeled.
- Free app.
- 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.