Navigation within buildings: Novel movement detection algorithms supporting people with visual impairments

S. David, S. Schmitt, J. Utz, A. Hub, W. Schlicht

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


This study aimed at finding simple algorithms to identify three different movements registered by accelerometer and to detect differences in the acceleration signals of people with and without visual impairments.The Tactile Acoustical Navigation and Information Assistant (TANIA) is construed to provide persons suffering from visual impairments support for an independent navigation indoors and outdoors. Attaining this goal, TANIA uses vertical acceleration signal extrema to assess its user's walking distance. This study investigated first the sit-to-stand movement, stumbling and walking up- and down stairs of 25 subjects with visual impairments using TANIA sensor system. The objective was to improve the user's movement detection using sensors to get valid and reliable data. In a second step of the study it was investigated if there is a difference between the above-mentioned movements in people with or without visual impairments (n= 10). The acceleration signals of the subjects were compared.Three simple algorithms were found, which are able to separate the movement signals based on accelerometers of the respective daily movements. The second step analysis revealed a detectable difference in the second phase of stumbling (p= .034), where the subjects had to get back into walking forward. No differences in the other acceleration signals were found. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2026-2034
JournalResearch in Developmental Disabilities
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


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