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Real time indoor mapping. Identification and guidance for visually impaired people - indoor environment - Phase 2


The objective of this project is to create a system comprised of an infrastructure made up of sensors installed indoors and a user interface made up of an app on a smartphone. This system will be able to map the environment close to a visually impaired person, identify people, points and objects of interest, transform this information into aural and tactile (haptic) signals, expanding the situational awareness of users and providing guidance in an indoor environment through the app in the smartphone. As an innovative aspect that goes beyond simple guidance (largely explored by other products on the market), situational awareness stands out, understood as the perception and awareness of the elements that make up and affect the environment, knowledge of past events, the understanding of the current situation and the projection of actions and the future state of the user. The project, up to the date of this submission, is in the final phase of the PIPE 1 program through the FAPESP 2020/05744-1 process. As shown in the documents attached to this process, it was possible to create a fully functional demonstrator. Until the present stage of progress of phase 1, the main functionalities for the orientation of the visually impaired were integrated in a laboratory environment, fulfilling the objective proposed by the program, which is: the demonstration of technical-scientific feasibility. It is also noteworthy that the proponents of this project participated in the PIPE entrepreneur program. In this program, more than 100 interviews were conducted with relevant stakeholders where the "problem solution fit" and the "product market fit" were demonstrated according to the I-Corp methodology. As a result of this program, the project received several letters of support indicating a viable path for the field demonstration of a minimally viable product (development scope of this phase 2). Further development of the research proposal will lead to the creation of a system to be developed and tested in an "extreme user" environment. Also as a result of the Entrepreneurial Pipe program, a partnership was made with the Museu da Terra in Rio de Janeiro, which made its facilities available for system development tests (the letter of support is attached to this process). Negotiations were also made with the Benjamim Constant Institute (IBC) to support field tests through its researchers and students with visual impairments. It is noteworthy that the Museum of Earth and the IBC are neighboring organizations facilitating the logistics necessary for large-scale testing of the minimally viable product to achieve this goal, it will be necessary to proceed with research in the area of human factors, aiming at creating an interface between the user and the artifact that maximizes situational awareness and reduces the workload. Additionally, in phase 1 demonstrations were held in a laboratory room. The Museu da Terra has extensive facilities, which will require efforts to integrate sensors distributed over several rooms in a multi-user environment. The effort and technical barriers associated with phase 2 of the project are associated with expanding the system in scale, optimizing functions in terms of data fusion and processing, as well as demonstrating the maturity and robustness of the system to be used in the final operating environment. Once the intensive testing program at the Earth Museum is concluded and considering the so-called PIPE FAPESP-Sebrae, the project will enter a second stage characterized by a "road show" (SEBRAE budget) where its characteristics will be adapted to different user segments, notably: schools, support institutions for people with disabilities and shopping malls (support letters are attached to this process). In this step, the final validation of the business model fit will be carried outAt the end of phase 2, the company is expected to demonstrate the commercial viability of the product (AU)

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