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Smart Suitcase Promises to Help Blind People Navigate Airports

In this 21st century, smartening up with advanced technology is in its prime. Hence, after a huge success of smartphone and even smart city, people in this era are expecting more ‘SmartThings’ to come their way. So, why not introducing the idea of smart suitcase?

Researchers from Carnegie Mellon University say that a smart suitcase is an ultimate solution for the travelers with visual disabilities. The invention of smart suitcase ensures to warn blind users of impending collisions. Moreover, along with the smart suitcase, a wayfinding smartphone app can guide blind people to navigate airport terminals independently. However, the smart rolling suitcase and the app together not only protect users from collisions but also provides thorough audio instructions. Such instructions imply how to reach an airport departure gate – or restaurant/ restroom without any hassle.

BBeep Can Sound an Alarm Once Collisions are Imminent

Airport terminals remain highly challenging for travelers with visual impairments for navigating safely. Although, several popular international airports are putting efforts in developing advanced systems to enhance travelers’ experiences. However, the major trouble arises when the blind travelers feel the need to use the lounge or restrooms during a long layover.

Kris Kitani, an assistant professor in the Robotics Institute states that an ample number of airports are installing Bluetooth beacons. However, the Robotics Institute’s researchers have deployed NavCog – a smartphone-based app which employs Bluetooth beacons, especially to help blind travelers.

After the success of Bluetooth beacons, Carnegie Mellon University’s researchers have invented BBeep – the smart rolling suitcase. The exclusivity of smart suitcase lies in helping blind travelers with another problem in airports – to navigate through crowds. Such assistive system holds a camera to keep a track of pedestrians in the path of the blind travelers. Moreover, it also has the facility of calculating the possibility of a potential collision. Therefore, researchers say with the invention of such advanced suitcases, the number of accidents and injuries can be decreased.

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