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A Passion Avenue For Science

Current Problem and Support

Million people living with the:

  • Lack of access to information

  • Lack of access to formal education

  • Lack of secure jobs or being financial independent

  • Inaccessibility leisure activities

  • Living in isolation

  • Segregated from everyone


The development of blind app navigation programs started many years ago, a simple google search would showcase hundreds of other tools and equipment to tackle the same goal this project seeks to achieve.

Like all blind app projects, there is no single solution to tackle the navigation barrier. Thus, the approach of this project is to act as an additional tool to add to the visually impaired navigating senses rather than an independent success tool.

Without a doubt many other projects found success in solving the challenges blind users face, however, though they can be more technologically advanced in their systems. It often requires costly hardware for it to be used and implemented, which in the end limits the number of people who can afford them. From there, it led to question, how to create a program that would add to a blind person’s navigation repertoire with the use of basic equipment and could be easily implemented everywhere?

The answer for this question lies within the approach this project has taken. With consideration to the time, we live in, within the pandemic, the QR technology is becoming ever-more present. From the display of restaurant menus, digital banking, to registering one's physical presence in an area, all achievable with a simple smartphone camera commonly owned by most of the society. This project seeks to take advantage of this existing normality. Using custom made QR codes, blind users can now easily scan using day-to-day smartphones with its inbuilt camera to output audio guides. Creating two separate apps, one for blind users and the other for normal users who creates the custom QR codes.

App Design: Blind User Side

The first half of the project, the blind user side, looks and scans custom made QR codes embedded with text-to-speech commands. A blind user, using a smartphone strapped on to them with an external mirror directing half the camera towards the floor. Will walk around and eventually walking over predetermined QR locations where the program will immediately pickup and scan the QR code. From there it will directly trigger an audio output through the smartphone’s speakers or any other audio peripherals for the blind users. The program will infinitely run until user manually stops it.

The external mirror used on the phone’s camera allows the app to simultaneously look at both the ground and what is ahead and scan any QR code on any halves of the screen. This feature allows a wider range of combinations for QR placement and applications in different context. The QRs ahead/straight from the blind user can possibly contain warnings and functions from a distance before the user reaches that area. While the QRs on the ground act more for commands on that spot, around to the user with shorter range to give a more accurate description on where the blind user is.

App Design: Admin/Normal User Side

The other half of this project is a second separate app for normal users, those who create the custom QR codes like stated above for the blind users to scan. The app contains two pages, one that generates the custom QR codes (see figure ).

The other is a library page that stores all the created QR codes into a cloud-hosted database, using Google Firestore, allowing for large storage and synchronization of data (see figure ). The degree of flexibility given to input anything into the QRs allows for faster and simple implementation of this application since no expert technician or heavy IT background is needed to make use of this app. All is needed is a person who knows the area good enough, for instance a mall manager who is wanting to make their mall more accessible for blind people is perfectly enough and capable to create these QR codes.

Tools used

First started off with Figma to design the app’s UI and UX. Continued with Flutter, a software development kit, alongside with Dart, an object-oriented programing language. Together, the two allowed me to develop across multiple platforms using a single code base. Lastly, I used cloud firestore as a database to store all QR information.

Future Outlook

Due to the app’s flexibility and ease to use, it can easily be implemented in various environments and numerous locations. However, a limitation of the app currently and future improvement, is to allow it to be multidirectional so that the data is not confined to only one direction. This would further allow for larger applications in more complex environments. Hopefully, this app can be expanded nationally or even globally to help all kinds of visual impaired users to enjoy the pleasures of exploring the space around them.

This project is about an application that can be used by everyone and would support all blind-people societies worldwide without much cost.

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