Cityguide: a seamless indoor-outdoor wayfinding system for people with vision impairments

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Cheraghi, Seyed Ali
Namboodiri, Vinod
Arsal, Güler

Cheraghi, S. A., Namboodiri, V., & Arsal, G. (2021). CityGuide: A seamless indoor-outdoor wayfinding system for people with vision impairments. Paper presented at the 2021 IEEE International Conference on Pervasive Computing and Communications Workshops and Other Affiliated Events, PerCom Workshops 2021, 105-110. doi:10.1109/PerComWorkshops51409.2021.9431138


GPS accuracy is poor in indoor environments and around buildings. Thus, reading and following signs still remains the most common mechanism for providing and receiving wayfinding information in such spaces. This puts individuals who are blind or visually impaired (BVI) at a great disadvantage, and thus, there remains a great need to provide a low-cost, easy to use, and reliable wayfinding system within indoor and outdoor spaces that complements existing satellite-based systems. This work designs, implements, and evaluates a wayfinding system and smartphone application called CityGuide that can be used by BVI individuals to navigate their surroundings beyond what is possible with just a GPS-based system. CityGuide enables an individual to query and get turn-by-turn shortest route directions from an indoor location to an outdoor location. CityGuide leverages recently developed indoor wayfinding solutions in conjunction with GPS signals to provide a seamless indoor-outdoor navigation and wayfinding system that guides a BVI individual to their desired destination through the shortest route. Evaluations of CityGuide with BVI human subjects navigating between an indoor starting point to an outdoor destination within an unfamiliar university campus scenario showed it to be effective in reducing end-to-end navigation times and distances of almost all participants.

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