Date of Original Version
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Abstract or Description
Dynamic changes can present significant challenges for visually impaired travelers to safely and independently navigate urban environments. To address these challenges, we are developing the NavPal suite of technology tools . NavPal includes a dynamic guidance tool  in the form of a smartphone app that can provide real-time instructions based on available map information to guide navigation in indoor environments. In this paper we enhance our past work by introducing a framework for blind travelers to add map/navigation information to the tool, and to invite trusted sources to do the same. The user input is realized through audio breadcrumb annotations that could be useful for future trips. The trusted sources mechanism provides invited trusted individuals or organizations an interface to contribute real-time information about the surrounding environment. We demonstrate the feasibility of our solution through a prototype Android smartphone-based outdoor navigation aid for blind travelers. An initial usability study with visually impaired adults informed the design and implementation of this prototype.
Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), 2015, 4511-4518.