Color Targets: Fiducials to Help Visually Impaired People Find Their Way by Camera Phone

  • James Coughlan1Email author and

    Affiliated with

    • Roberto Manduchi2

      Affiliated with

      EURASIP Journal on Image and Video Processing20072007:096357

      DOI: 10.1155/2007/96357

      Received: 16 January 2007

      Accepted: 2 August 2007

      Published: 28 August 2007

      Abstract

      A major challenge faced by the blind and visually impaired population is that of wayfinding—the ability of a person to find his or her way to a given destination. We propose a new wayfinding aid based on a camera cell phone, which is held by the user to find and read aloud specially designed machine-readable signs, which we call color targets, in indoor environments (labeling locations such as offices and restrooms). Our main technical innovation is that we have designed the color targets to be detected and located in fractions of a second on the cell phone CPU, even at a distance of several meters. Once the sign has been quickly detected, nearby information in the form of a barcode can be read, an operation that typically requires more computational time. An important contribution of this paper is a principled method for optimizing the design of the color targets and the color target detection algorithm based on training data, instead of relying on heuristic choices as in our previous work. We have implemented the system on Nokia 7610 cell phone, and preliminary experiments with blind subjects demonstrate the feasibility of using the system as a real-time wayfinding aid.

      [12345678910111213141516171819202122232425]

      Authors’ Affiliations

      (1)
      Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center, Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute
      (2)
      University of California

      References

      1. Coughlan J, Manduchi R, Shen H: Cell phone-based wayfinding for the visually impaired. The 1st International Workshop on Mobile Vision, May 2006, Graz, Austria
      2. Crandall W, Bentzen B, Myers L, Brabyn J: New orientation and accessibility option for persons with visual impairment: transportation applications for remote infrared audible signage. Clinical and Experimental Optometry 2001,84(3):120-131. 10.1111/j.1444-0938.2001.tb04955.xView Article
      3. Ladd AM, Bekris KE, Rudys AP, Wallach DS, Kavraki LE: On the feasibility of using wireless ethernet for indoor localization. IEEE Transactions on Robotics and Automation 2004,20(3):555-559. 10.1109/TRA.2004.824948View Article
      4. Uddin MS, Shioyama T: Bipolarity- and projective invariant-based zebra-crossing detection for the visually impaired. Proceedings of the 1st IEEE Workshop on Computer Vision Applications for the Visually Impaired (CVAVI '05), June 2005, San Diego, Calif, USA 22.
      5. Silapachote P, Weinman J, Hanson A, Weiss R, Mattar MA: Automatic sign detection and recognition in natural scenes. Proceedings of the 1st IEEE Workshop on Computer Vision Applications for the Visually Impaired (CVAVI '05), June 2005, San Diego, Calif, USA 27.
      6. Cho Y, Neumann U: Multi-ring color fiducial systems for scalable fiducial tracking augmented reality. Proceedings of the IEEE Virtual Reality Annual International Symposium (VRAIS '98), March 1998, Atlanta, Ga, USA 212.
      7. Claus D, Fitzgibbon AW: Reliable fiducial detection in natural scenes. Proceedings of the 8th European Conference on Computer Vision (ECCV '04), May 2004, Prague, Czech Republic 4: 469-480.
      8. Naimark L, Foxlin E: Circular data matrix fiducial system and robust image processing for a wearable vision-inertial self-tracker. Proceedings of the International Symposium on Mixed and Augmented Reality (ISMAR '02), September-October 2002, Darmstadt, Germany 27-36.View Article
      9. Scharstein D, Briggs AJ: Real-time recognition of self-similar landmarks. Image and Vision Computing 2001,19(11):763-772. 10.1016/S0262-8856(00)00105-0View Article
      10. State A, Hirota G, Chen D, Garrett W, Livingston M: Superior augmented reality registration by integrating landmark tracking and magnetic tracking. Proceedings of the 23rd Annual Conference on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques (SIGGRAPH '96), August 1996, New Orleans, La, USA 429-438.View Article
      11. Zandifar A, Duraiswami PR, Chahine A, Davis LS: A video based interface to textual information for the visually impaired. Proceedings of the 4th IEEE International Conference on Multimodal Interfaces (ICMI '02), October 2002, Pittsburgh, Pa, USA 325-330.View Article
      12. Liang J, Doermann D, Li H: Camera-based analysis of text and documents: a survey. International Journal on Document Analysis and Recognition 2005,7(2-3):84-104. 10.1007/s10032-004-0138-zView Article
      13. Chen X, Yuille AL: Detecting and reading text in natural scenes. Proceedings of the IEEE Computer Society Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR '04), June-July 2004, Washington, DC, USA 2: 366-373.
      14. Gao J, Yang J: An adaptive algorithm for text detection from natural scenes. Proceedings of the IEEE Computer Society Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR '01), December 2001, Kauai, Hawaii, USA 2: 84-89.
      15. Jain AK, Yu B: Automatic text location in images and video frames. Pattern Recognition 1998,31(12):2055-2076. 10.1016/S0031-3203(98)00067-3View Article
      16. Li H, Doermann D, Kia O: Automatic text detection and tracking in digital video. IEEE Transactions on Image Processing 2000,9(1):147-156. 10.1109/83.817607View Article
      17. Viola P, Jones M: Rapid object detection using a boosted cascade of simple features. Proceedings of the IEEE Computer Society Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR '01), December 2001, Kauai, Hawaii, USA 1: 511-518.
      18. Funt BV, Finlayson GD: Color constant color indexing. IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence 1995,17(5):522-529. 10.1109/34.391390View Article
      19. Manduchi R, Tomasi C: Distinctiveness maps for image matching. Proceedings of the 10th International Conference on Image Analysis and Processing, September 1999, Venice, Italy 26-31.View Article
      20. Baumberg A: Reliable feature matching across widely separated views. Proceedings of the IEEE Computer Society Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR '00), June 2000, Hilton Head Island, SC, USA 1: 774-781.
      21. Lowe DG: Distinctive image features from scale-invariant keypoints. International Journal of Computer Vision 2004,60(2):91-110.View Article
      22. Schmid C, Mohr R, Bauckhage C: Evaluation of interest point detectors. International Journal of Computer Vision 2000,37(2):151-172. 10.1023/A:1008199403446View Article
      23. Shi J, Tomasi C: Good features to track. Proceedings of the IEEE Computer Society Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR '94), June 1994, Seattle, Wash, USA 593-600.
      24. Sharma G, Trussell HJ: Digital color imaging. IEEE Transactions on Image Processing 1997,6(7):901-932. 10.1109/83.597268View Article
      25. Coughlan J, Manduchi R: Functional assessment of a camera phone-based wayfinding system operated by blind users. Conference of IEEE Computer Society and the Biological and Artificial Intelligence Society (IEEE-BAIS), Research on Assistive Technologies Symposium (RAT '07), April 2007, Dayton, Ohio, USA

      Copyright

      © J. Coughlan and R. Manduchi. 2007

      This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.