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Indoor Navigation For The Blind And Visually Impaired: Validation And Training Methodology Using Virtual Reality

Abstract
In this thesis we propose a navigation instruction validation tool and an user training tool for PERCEPT system. The validation tool evaluates the navigation instructions using a virtual reality environment by ensuring that each path in the virtual environment can be traversed by following the navigation instructions. This validation tool will serve as a first automatic validation of navigation instructions prior to testing them with blind and visually impaired users. The user-training tool enables the blind user to explore and get familiar with the real environment by using the virtual environment generated in the Unity3d based game. The user interacts with the game using PERCEPT Smartphone client just like the user would interact in the real environment. Motion in the game is emulated using the keyboard. Motion directions follow the navigation instructions obtained through the Smartphone. This user-training tool will improve the users experience in the real environment by enabling them to explore and learn the environment a-priori to their arrival in the physical space.
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