Title: Follow me - Code: 00019
Contest: Rome / 2010
By: F. J. Pavón Fernández

Views: 3224 Likes: 1




Follow me


0. Introduction


Nowadays, the globalization has made the distances between places even shorter and shorter. Thanks to advances in means of transportation, and the heightened competition between airlines, flying is getting cheaper, which allows not only the upper classes to access this means of transportation. This fact has produced a tourism boom, offering more diverse destinations and leisure facilities that people of all social spheres can afford it.


The following proposal aims to serve this social dynamic, helping a social group nearly inactive in the tourism sector; that of the blind and visually handicapped persons.


The city of Rome, one of most important tourist destinations in the world, lacks the urban equipment necessary to give effective solutions to the displacement of blind people in the city. In response to the competition Rome City Vision 2010, the proposal seeks to give a solution for the future through an equipment that serves as an attractor element of tourism for the blind people and to provide the necessary equipment and infrastructure for the movement of blind people in the city.

1. What is the “Follow Me” system?


The “Follow Me” system is a guide for blind and visually handicapped persons.




3. How does it work?

Install the band of ferromagnetic material on or under the pavement. With the “visible” mode (on pavement) a visual quality is added to the system thanks to the color of the plastic covering. With the “hidden” mode (under the pavement), the visual impact is eliminated by making the system invisible for other people.


The blind should carry a special cane as described above. The cane can be enabled or disabled to work as a conventional blind cane. When you turn the cane on, an electric current excites a solenoid installed at the end of the stick that works like an electromagnet. Power is provided by a lightweight rechargeable battery installed in the grip of the cane.


When the end of the cane approaches the band of ferromagnetic material, it is attracted by the band (in the pavement). The cane is supported on the end by a ball bearing. The force of attraction between the electromagnet and the band, ensures moving the blind along the guide. He will only have to push lightly for the ending of the cane to slide along the guide, ensuring a clear path throughout the band.


In fact, users will find inevitable and necessary obstacles in his way, such as stairs, steps, crossings of roads, ramps etc. and because of this, the system incorporates a mechanism for listening to automatic and instantaneous information. This plugin uses RFID technology (wireless data transmission). The cane handle incorporates a data sending device (reader) that acts only when it is switched on. At points in the route where the user should take noticed, receiving devices were installed (tags). These devices are small (the size of a credit card) and can have a lifespan of between 7 and 10 years. At the same time with this installation, users can get useful information such as traffic signal status, location of exits and entrances of buildings, street names, location of street furniture, etc.


As the user passes by each tag, the sender will detect and excite the performance of each tag (receiving devices are in a temporary state of “sleep”). When excited the tag modifies the signal emitted by the sender and sends it back to it. The sender reads the signal and automatically plays the information to the user through a wireless headset.


4. Where does it work?


The “Follow Me” system is a tool especially designed to operate in “indoor” and “outdoor” environments. In particular the system is useful indoors, allowing users precise movements along its path without wandering off the route. Also, it is especially useful in detecting and avoiding obstacles inside, such as stairs, ramps, etc, and to receive useful information within the building; location of the lift, toilets, specific places, exit doors, etc.. The system is designed to operate with complete assurance in public buildings such as museums, cinemas, theaters, shopping malls, airports, train stations, metro, etc.


In addition the use of the “Follow Me” system is very appropriate in urban and open spaces. With this system, the blind persons are able to move with greater independence and comfort within the city, facilitating the crossing of roads, knowledge of the state of traffic lights, warning of obstacles, etc.


5. Benefits-opportunities


The “Follow Me” system is characterized by the following advantages:


- Allows the detection of obstacles instantly


- Ensures the absence of obstacles along the path of the guide


- Allows reception of all kind of useful information


- Looks for the potential in tourism for the blind


- The cane can be used as a conventional blind cane


- Allows blind people to move easily through crowded locations


- Has a low cost of maintenance


- Allows guidance of blind people in “indoor” spaces. The guidance system developed for the blind that is currently in use, works with GPS technology and such systems lose their effectiveness within interior spaces.


- It is compatible with the existing urban structure, including reduced visual impact on the sidewalk


- The application in public buildings is an appropiate solution (museums, cinemas, shopping malls, etc) since the installation uses a non-destructive technique and can also modify the itinerary depending on the requirements


- The installation has a very flexible performance. In the examples exposed at the panels the band can adapt the course to different exigences. So, in the museum example, the installation of the band could be modified depending on the exhibitions.


Title: Follow me

Time: 16 marzo 2010
Category: Rome
Views: 3224 Likes: 1

Tags: -