Navatar: An App that Assists The Visually Impaired

Navatar: An App that Assists The Visually Impaired

By Shinji Tutoru

UNIVERSITY OF NEVADA, NEVADA, USA. Navatar is a smartphone application that was developed by the engineers of the University of Nevada. This app assists visually impaired and blind individuals in indoor navigation. Nowadays, they may not need a guide dog to lead them to new and unknown places.

It is a known fact that current indoor navigation systems are expensive due to their costly hardware. People with disabilities need alternative solutions to this concern. The engineers of the University of Nevada created the Navatar smartphone app to help them with an affordable and at the same time portable indoor navigation system.

Navatar uses 3D sketches of buildings that are accessible via Google’s SketchUp program. Users need to enter the pertinent information. Once it is done, the app will then provide step-by-step directions. This app is just one of the apps that provide assistance to the blind. There is also an application that help them read Braille. Also, there is an app that help them do their homework via the tactile mobile technology.

Navatar was given an award by PETA for successfully decreasing the need for guide dogs. It absolutely helped in reducing costs of hiring guide dogs and minimizing the need for dog labor. This innovation is definitely affordable especially for those with disabilities who already own smartphones.

Future developments for this application would include GPS for outdoor navigation and the automatic pop up of sketches. This kind of innovation only proves that smartphones are not just for Facebook and other entertaining games. A simple app can actually make a difference to millions of people that have disabilities or have been physically incapacitated.

Invention Navatar
Organization University of Nevada, Nevada, USA
Researcher University of Nevada Engineers
Field(s) Indoor Navigation, Outdoor Navigation, Blind Navigation, Mobile Technology
Further Information Mobiledia
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