Straßer Lab

Applied Vision Research

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Ampel-Pilot - A smartphone application for red/green phases detection at pedestrian traffic lights

Only 10-12 percent of crosswalks in Germany are equipped with traffic lights with acoustic or tactile signals, which make the red and green phases recognizable for the visually impaired. However, these signals can be difficult to detect due to local conditions such as high ambient noise.

A working group at the Institute for Ophthalmic Research in cooperation with the Faculty of Computer Science at the University of Applied Sciences Augsburg has identified this problem and developed the "Ampel-Pilot", a smartphone application enabling the recognition of red and green phases at pedestrian traffic lights.

The smartphone has become our daily companion. With the help of the diverse sensors that modern mobile phones provide, new applications are constantly emerging. Functions such as voice output and voice control, as well as hundreds of specialized apps, have led to more and more people with visual impairment taking advantage of the possibilities offered by modern smartphones in their daily lives. For many, using the smartphone helps to substantially increase their mobility and independence.

At the Faculty for Computer Science at the University of Applied Sciences Augsburg, semester projects are an integral part of the curricula in all computer science programs, with respect to both, the Bachelor and Master programs. Computer science students participate in at least one project of their choice during their studies. In addition to the practical application of the theoretical knowledge acquired so far, the projects, undertaken in small groups of six to eight students, focus on teamwork.

A group of eight students became enthusiastic about the idea of developing an app for the visually impaired and blind to assist them in crossing pedestrian traffic lights without acoustic or tactile signaling devices. Thus, the app Ampel-Pilot for Android was created as part of the project work under the direction of Torsten Straßer.

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