Today, in the midst of our fast paced life and era of technology, a visually impaired person is still in a state of confusion as to how to reach their destination. Due to his impairment, the fellow is unable to find directions to the destination i.e. from where to take a left or a right turn and eventually gets lost every now and then. So, for rescue an external person becomes necessary for guiding the path. This makes the fellow highly dependent on others for mobility and reduces the confidence level to travel alone.
To solve the concerned issue, we came up with a smart glove : Navyo, accompanied by a mobile App. Navyo connects to the phone via Bluetooth. As wearer speaks the destination in App, the route is set (via public transit or walking mode) and directions are fed into Navyo wirelessly. With help of vibrating motors placed in left and right part of Navyo, the wearer is guided via tactile feedback prior to each turn in respective portion of hand. Also a location can be pinned for future reference. With feature of automatic re-routing, the wearer never gets lost and reaches the destination well in time.
As per statistics by the WHO, about 285 million people are visually impaired worldwide: 39 million are blind and 246 million have low vision. One out of every third blind people in the world lives in India. Initially we will provide Navyo in India and then will expand to further countries.
Navyo can be purchased by making a one-time payment of 4,000 INR (~60 USD). As per distribution is concerned, it will be made available at partner organizations all across India. Also training will be provided by trained personals at those organisations. It can be also procured under partial subsidy scheme offered by the Indian government. As Navyo fills the gap of necessity for visually impaired people, the rate of adoption is predicted to be pretty fast.
Currently, navigation system for the visually impaired is based on voice feedback from smartphone. It can be too risky for them as they rely highly on their hearing ability to sense the environment and avoid approaching danger. At present they can also be guided through sighted assistance, which makes them dependent on another fellow and have to rely upon his availability. So, in order to cater the shortcomings of the current solutions, Navyo provides a non-distractive and easy to adopt solution to make visually impaired people navigate with freedom and confidence.
With the core team of three members, we are dedicated to deliver a reliable product. Our members are competent in fields of embedded electronics, marketing and sales, and product development. Currently, Navyo is at the prototype stage and is being tested with potential customers. There were some challenges related to accuracy of the GPS location of the user, but this has been successfully resolved by incorporating self-developed algorithms. Navyo’s pilot run is planned to be launched in January 2017.