Radio Locator for the Visually Impaired

Votes: 4
Views: 2782
Medical
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My device allows a visually impaired person to gain more freedom and independence allowing them to navigate in public buildings and spaces more easily than ever before. The device is simple, effective and inexpensive to manufacture, install and maintain.

THE CURRENT PROBLEM:
Currently all public buildings in the United States are required to meet certain accessibility criteria for persons with disabilities. Have you ever noticed that most every sign in a public place is also written in Braille? The problem is how does a visually impaired person locate the different places in a building such as the Elevator/Escalator, Restrooms, Emergency Exits, Information Desks, etc.? Currently the visually impaired need to ask for directions, bring a guide assistant or feel their way around.

THE SOLUTION:
Small radio receivers are mounted over or near the location or entrances of Restrooms, Elevators, Emergency Exits, Etc. These small receivers, each having their own specified frequency when triggered, emit a unique, but not offensive tone that can be heard for a distance of up to 50 feet.

A visually impaired person may then carry an electronic key-fob transmitter or a traditional style white cane with a built in transmitter. These devices have a series of buttons; each button is programmed to trigger a specific receivers.

In a building equipped with such a system, all a visually impaired person need do to find their way to one of the common public features is to press the button that corresponds to the desired location. If they are within range of the location they will hear the receivers tone, directing them to where they want or need to go.

The proposed receivers are of small size and in the case of new construction can be integrated into the Exit signs or elevators/escalators. For pre-existing structures they are battery operated and can be installed and maintained easily by building maintenance technicians. With current lithium battery technology, these units would only require maintenance annually.

Patent Pending

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  • ABOUT THE ENTRANT

  • Name:
    Robert Christie
  • Type of entry:
    individual
  • Profession:
    Engineer/Designer
  • Number of times previously entering contest:
    never
  • Robert's favorite design and analysis tools:
    Mastercam X3, Rhino3D
  • For managing CAD data Robert's company uses:
    None
  • Robert's hobbies and activities:
    Photography, Reading, Research, Art
  • Robert belongs to these online communities:
    Design and CNC related Yahoo Groups, CNC Zone
  • Robert is inspired by:
    There are so many obvious problems with simple solutions. Every day I see something that needs "fixing" or I talk with someone who describes a problem. As a medical device designer I am inspired when I hear that something “can’t be done” to remedy a problem or condition.
  • Software used for this entry:
    Mastercam X3, Rhino 3D
  • Patent status:
    pending