In Hong Kong, the public sources of information on accessible facilities for wheelchair users were inadequate. Even Google Maps, the powerful tool which can show the users the location information and provide the shortest path for any 2 selected locations, cannot provide route that are always accessible to wheelchair users. For instance, the current routing function cannot detect and eliminate staircases in its routes which makes these routes not suitable for wheelchair users.
In fact, there are some organizations which provide map and routing services to wheelchair users. For instance, the Hong Kong Society for Rehabilitation has its website planning routes for wheelchair users. However, these applications have limitations and might not cater the users’ need.
WheelGO aims to develop a navigation system for the wheelchair users on Android platform.
The preliminary goal is to develop a demo application, from which the application is able to process user requests, generate results and suggest a barrier-free path to users to reach their destination. The demo application will also provide routing information including time, transportation details. Special facilities such as accessible toilets and ramps, or streets that are inappropriately accessible will be highlighted in the map to facilitate the wheelchair users when they are in an unfamiliar place.
The ultimate goal is to enrich the navigating experience by implementing acoustics navigating function and feedback mechanism. Acoustics navigation is similar to the GPS driving audio routing, the system will voice out the route according to the users’ real-time GPS location. Users can report staircases or places that are not readily accessible for wheelchair user, the system then will undergo validation process and update the map. Ultimately, the accuracy of the routing function is anticipated to be improved.
Automatically eliminate the routes with staircases and steep slopes. Suggest the best barrier-free paths.
Remember your favourite locations. Set the points you prefer to go through or bypass.
Acoustically navigate your journey. Provide hands-free experience when routing.
Dr. T. W. Chim
BEng, M.Phil, PhD HK
Chau Shing Yi (Sabrina)
BEng (CompSc) 4, HKU
Nip Chi Fung (Terry)
BEng (CompSc) 4, HKU
If you are interested in our project, please feel feel o contact our at firstname.lastname@example.org, we'll be happy to share our experience in developing the app with you!