Development of a design guideline for modular, haptic and optical floor indicators for indoor guidance systems for visually impaired people and RFID-based navigation systems based on textile floor coverings (ModuLeiT)
The goal of this research project is to develop a design guideline for an indoor guidance and information system consisting of textile floor indicators with integrated RFID tags and a navigation system based on the indicators.
For this purpose, requirements for the guidance and information system were compiled in cooperation with visually impaired people, as well as companies from the user committee. Based on this, the floor indicators for indoor use will be developed using the tufting technology, which offers a wide range of structure and color pattern options. For a diverse range of applications, the three-dimensional textile, haptic and optical floor indicators consist of modular carpet tiles that can be sensed with a blind person’s cane. For the indoor navigation system, RFID tags will be integrated into the carpet tiles as part of an RFID system. The system will be linked via an interface with the building information model (BIM) in order to develop a navigation app for the use on mobile devices that can navigate through the building barrier-free in real time. In this context, design guidelines, requirements and tests for the practical applicability of the system will be developed. The system will be validated with a demonstrator through a practical test with visually impaired people.
For the inclusion of visually impaired people, a guidance system based on floor indicators in public areas is a prerequisite. While floor indicators are already standard in outdoor areas, they are barely used indoors due to poor aesthetics. Navigation within large buildings has only been implemented in costly isolated solutions.