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Neural-network virtual reality mobility aid for the severely visually impaired

M R Everingham, B T Thomas, T Troscianko, D Easty, Neural-network virtual reality mobility aid for the severely visually impaired. Proceedings of the 2nd European Conference on Disability, Virtual Reality and Associated Technologies. ISBN 0 7049 1141 8, pp. 183–192. September 1998. PDF, 573 Kbytes.

Abstract

This paper describes a new approach to image enhancement for people with severe visual impairments to enable mobility in an urban environment. A neural-network classifier is used to identify objects in a scene so that image content specifically important for mobility may be made more visible. Enhanced images are displayed to the user using a high saturation colour scheme where each type of object has a different colour, resulting in images which are highly visible and easy to interpret. The object classifier achieves a level of accuracy over 90%. Results from a pilot study conducted using people with a range of visual impairments are presented in which performance on a difficult mobility-related task was improved by over 100% using the system.

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