Prof David Cheung, Director of CECID and Professor of Department of Computer Science, HKU, was awarded "Barrier Free Hero" by the HK Federation of the Blind this year.
With a grant from the Innovative Technology Fund (ITF) of HK$5.48 million under the Innovation and Technology Support Programme, Prof Cheung has led the CECID project team to work on an 18-month project namely "A Smartphone Control Device and Signpost System for Visually Impaired Users" since December 2011. The project deliverables include a smartphone assistant, namely E-Guide, and a signpost system to help the visually impaired users getting around at locations such as transportation junction or shopping malls, etc. This project provides a breakthrough by wirelessly and verbally disseminating indoor and outdoor location information to the users. Users can listen to the guiding information on the spot and getting around on their own. In the past few months, the CECID project team has worked closely with MTR and the Link to launched trial runs in their premises. The results are very encouraging.
The project team is exploring opportunities for more extensive installation of the signpost system in various locations. Further development of the E-Guide is planned to let visually impaired users use mobile applications on smartphones which, at present, mainly adopt a touchscreen input mode.
Grateful to Prof Cheung and his project team to accomplish this breakthrough and help out the needies. Congratulations!