Project Description

Indepent traveling for blind owners of guide dogs

How can the Google Glass help blind owners of guide dogs?

Using public transport can be very difficult for blind people. From finding the right busstop to getting the right bus and dealing with dynamic busstops (often seen near stations, where the bus doesnt always use the same platform). Most of the time they have to rely on others to help them, which makes them very dependent.

The challenge

How can we help blind people with a guide dog in more independent use of public transport?

The solution

The solution was the combination of a smartphone app and Google Glass app. Using the compas in the Google Glass, the app could accurately say which direction the user needed to go to. The directions were not given with ‘left’ and ‘right but with the use of clocktimes, were 3 o’clock ment a right turn and 9 o’clock ment a left turn. This same system was used for guiding the user to the correct platform on dynamic busstops. The user would also be notified when the bus was near their busstop, so they would know when to get ready.

What did we do?

REshape worked together with the KNGF, the Royal Dutch Guide Dog Foundation, to explore the possibilities of Google Glass for people with a guide dog. We spoke to some of the guide dog owners, but also tried walking tried to experience it ourselves. Using the practice course at the KNGF, we walked with a stick and with a guide dog to better understand what it was to be blind.

 In the Netherlands, there are more than 320,000 people visually impaired or blind.

Ellen Greve
Ellen GreveDirecteur KNGF Geleidehonden
“We think that the Google Glass can be a nice addition to the use of a guide dog. Where the guide dog protects his boss, for example road works and other obstructions, Google Glass can add better orientation”
Tom van de Belt
Tom van de BeltProjectleider REshape