Zoom Colloquium: Harnessing Augmented Reality to Assist People who are Blind with Orientation and Mobility

Zoom Colloquium: Harnessing Augmented Reality to Assist People who are Blind with Orientation and Mobility

Past Event Date: 

Speaker: 

Paul Ruvolo, Associate Professor of Computer Science, Olin College

Host: 

James Coughlan

Event Category: 

Event Type: 

Abstract - Smartphones have been a massive boon for people who are blind in terms of their ability to access physical environments. For instance, GPS navigation apps and ride-sharing apps have enabled people who are blind to independently, efficiently, and confidently travel, including places they have never been to before. Despite this progress, there remain situations that are difficult for blind people to navigate. In particular, navigating through unfamiliar indoor environments presents a substantial challenge.

In this talk, I will present the work that my group is doing to try to improve the accessibility of indoor environments using smartphone technology. In particular, I will discuss my group's work, both in the lab and in the field, on harnessing augmented reality technology to perform tasks such as navigation, mapping, and route recording. Lastly, I'll present some of our successes and also discuss ongoing and future work. https://www.olin.edu/faculty/profile/paul-ruvolo/

Improving Zoom accessibility for people with hearing impairments 

People with hearing impairments often use lipreading and speechreading to improve speech comprehension. This approach is helpful but only works if the speaker’s face and mouth are clearly visible. For the benefit of people with hearing impairments on Zoom calls, please enable your device’s camera whenever you are speaking on Zoom, and face the camera while you speak. (Feel free to disable your camera when you aren’t speaking.)