Clew allows the guidance of blind people indoors, although it's also possible to use this application outdoors in certain conditions, thanks to the use of the device's camera.
To be able to do the guidance, it's first necessary to establish the starting landmark of the route. Once this is recorded, a recording of the route is made using the camera and saved in the saved routes list. The application recognizes objects on the route, as well as addresses, which will later be used to guide the person.
When the route has been saved, the user can locate at the beginning or end of it, and start the route from the saved routes list. From that moment on, the application begin to guide the person through voice messages in English that tell him if he must continue straight, turn left or right, or turn around. In addition, during the entire route the application emits beeps that indicate if the user is going in the right direction or not. If he turns slightly, the application stops emitting the beeps and the user knows that he must move the device to find the correct address.
The application is free, and is only available for IOS devices.
When the application is opened, the camera and the Landmark, Record Path, Saved Routes, Feedback, Settings and Help buttons are shown on the screen.
From here you can record the landmark of a route.
The screen has three buttons. The middle button says "Start alignment countdown" and allows record the landmark. The button on the left says "Enter text to help you remember this landmark" and allows associate a text with the landmark. The button on the right says "Record audio to help you remember this landmark" and allows associate a voice message to the landmark.
When the start alignment countdown button is pressed, the application starts a countdown, showing the account with large numbers and beeps. After finishing, the application captures the landmark that will be used as the starting point of the route.
Once the landmark is recorded, a screen identical to the initial screen is presented, with three main buttons. The middle button says "Record path" and allows start recording the route. The button on the right says"Landmark" and allows record again the reference landmark. The button on the left says"Saved routes" and Access the saved routes list .
Pressing the Record path button begin recording the route. The user has to make the route keeping the mobile device high in front of him. After finishing the route, a screen where it can assign the name to the route is shown, which will be saved in the saved routes list.
This is the list with all the routes that the user has stored on his device, as shown in the image on the left. When selecting one of the routes, the application asks the user for its direction, that is, starting it from the beginning or from the end, as can be seen in the middle image. After this, the application begins to guide the user, placing it in the right direction and showing the guidance mark on the screen, as can be seen in the photograph on the right. Next, the application begins to emit sound beeps and guide him towards the end of the route with voice messages of the kind turn left or right, or continue straight. At the end of the route, the application shows a screen where you can evaluate the application.
In this screen the user can positively or negatively evaluate the application by using the buttons for this purpose.
In this option it can configure different aspects of the application, such as distance unit used. It can also configure other parameters such as whether it wants the application to emit sounds or use voice messages.
This button allows quickly access the application help from anywhere.
From here it can send a message to the application developer. To do so, a form where the user can enter the message they want send and provide, if they wish, some way of contact so that the developer can get in touch with the user is shown.
Different tests have been performed, both indoors and outdoors, with very positive results. In all cases, the application has correctly guided the user from the initial point to the end through the sound beeps and voice messages.
The tests performed indoors have been carried out inside a floor of a building full of desks and chairs, as well as in the hallway of a building with different doors and rooms. In both cases the application has guided the user correctly through the route, both starting from the landmark, and in the opposite direction of the route.
The tests performed outdoors have been carried out in a traffic-free and bright environment, and the application, under these conditions, has worked correctly.
It's a great tool for blind or deafblind people for indoor guidance, especially for large buildings such as a hospital or a train station.
The guidance is very precise thanks to the sound beeps and the voice messages emitted by the application. However, these messages, as well as the application interface, are only available in English, which can be a barrier for many people without knowledge in this language.
Although the application works perfectly and is very accurate, the high battery consumption of the camera and the heating of the device are a common problem in applications that make intensive use of this element, so the use of this application should be restricted exclusively to what is necessary.
- Precise guidance.
- Well labeled.
- Free application.
- It could study how to improve battery consumption in future versions.
- Although the application works correctly, caution must be taken with the heating of the terminal.
- The translation of the interface into other languages can be suggested for future versions.
- It could suggest the development of a version for Android devices.