Accessible People Finder Application for Individuals with Visual Impairments

This Phase I project develops an accessible geosocial networking (AGN) application for the iPhone with Voice Over with the goal to connect people with visual disabilities with other people in their proximate environment while employing a revolutionary use of the positioning and connectivity technology built into mainstream cell phones. By capitalizing on the ubiquity of mobile phones with GPS, cell tower positioning, compass, and Bluetooth technology, the AGN application offers a solution using built-in accessibility for both long- and short-range people finding. The result is a program that identifies who is in the vicinity of a person with visual disabilities while combining long range and short range location technologies. (1) evaluating mainstream geosocial networking products and list accessibility issues and desired features, (2) developing the accessible geosocial networking application for iPhone for locating people in short and long range distances, and (3) analyzing and reporting the success of the developed application in real world situations.

Project Accomplishments

  1. Evaluate mainstream geosocial networking products and list accessibility issues and desired features
  2. Developed a prototype of the People Finder application for iPhones
  3. Analyzed the prototype at the CSUN 2013 conference. The app was featured in BBC's Ouch! Disability blog in "Cold, getting warmer, hot": New app helps blind people find each other article
  4. PeopleFinder Lite app website

Key Personnel

Michael May, Principal Investigator

Charles LaPierre, CTO

Bryan Bashin, Grant Manager

Gil Lutz, Staff Tester

Chris Grabowski, Staff Tester

Sheri Harding CFO

Kimberly Casey GPS Training Coordinator and Marketing Manager

Dr. Sanjay Gowda, Analytical Mechanics Associates' Chief Information Officer (CIO) and Vice President of Information Technology

Bryan Bashin Executive Director/CEO of the Lighthouse for the Blind in San Francisco.