OIWOB – Orienting, Informing, Warning and Orientation – Assistance for the Blind

Befragung_2Within OIWOB, five partners from industry and research, develop an assistance system that supports orientation of visually impaired and blind people in their outdoor environment. Objects in a distance up to 10m are made audible to the user. The blind person will wear special glasses where miniature cameras are installed. These cameras film the environment, a microcomputer convert these visual information into audible. Sounds will be presented via open headphones so the user is able to percept natural ambient noise. The system conveys all geometric data of the objects like position, height or the like. System sounds are clearly artificial and can be distinguished from ambient noise. Objects with risk potential for the user are displayed haptically via a vibrating white cane.

HFC is responsible for usability and acceptance aspects in the development process. In terms of user-centered approach we perform user studies and interviews. Therefore we developed a Spatial Audio Simulator where several problems of system development can be investigated. So results can be referred into technical and interface design.

The project is supported by Bundesminsterium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF, Federal Ministry of Education and Research).

For further information see the project website (in german).



  • Requirements Definition
  • Behavioral Observation
  • Focusgroups & Interviews
  • Usability-Engineering & -Testing
  • Spatial Audio Simulator
  • Statistics
  • Training Conscepts



  • HFC Human-Factors-Consult GmbH (Coordinator)
  • RWTH Aachen, Institut für technische Akustik
  • Karlsruhe Institut für Technologie (KIT), Institut für Mess- und Regelungstechnik
  • Hahn-Schickard-Gesellschaft für angewandte Forschung, Institut für Mikro- und Informationstechnik
  • Constin GmbH
  • Vistac GmbH