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Computer Vision System for the Blind Veteran

This study is ongoing, but not recruiting participants.
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Department of Veterans Affairs Identifier:
First received: June 11, 2009
Last updated: November 24, 2014
Last verified: November 2014

This is a feasibility study involving a small number of blind subject to evaluate the effectiveness of using a software and associated hardware components to assist the blind in identifying and locating objects of interests and to assist in way finding tasks. After the system has been successfully tested by the blindfolded engineers, it will be evaluated in a small number of blind subjects.

Condition Intervention Phase
Device: computer vision
Phase 1

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Non-Randomized
Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study
Intervention Model: Crossover Assignment
Masking: Open Label
Primary Purpose: Supportive Care
Official Title: Computer Vision System for the Blind Veteran

Further study details as provided by Department of Veterans Affairs:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • time to complete a task (locate an object or to navigate to a door) [ Time Frame: effectiveness for locating objects will be determined after 2 years. effectiveness for navigation after 3 years. ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]

Estimated Enrollment: 60
Study Start Date: November 2011
Estimated Study Completion Date: September 2015
Primary Completion Date: December 2013 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Experimental: Arm 1
the blind subject is asked to locate a randomly placed object with the assistance of the webcam/laptop computer.
Device: computer vision
a webcam-laptop based system to assist the blind in locating objects and in way finding.
No Intervention: Arm 2
The subject without the assist device can only locate the object by groping and random searching with hands.

Detailed Description:

This is primarily an engineering project to develop computer vision algorithms for an integrated system comprising of a laptop computer, webcam, gps, digital compass, microphone, and stereo earphones. The system will be voice controlled. The algorithm will be trained to identify and located objects and navigationally landmarks in real-time, previously selected by sighted developers. The subjects will be used to determine a list of objects to be identified and a list of useful information most important for way finding. After the system has passed objective engineering milestones such as the ability to correctly identify objects and landmarks with >99% accuracy and >90% sensitivity in <1 sec, subjects will be tested to determine whether the novel system will improve the ability of the blind to locate misplaced objects. Another test will be to determine whether the novel computer vision will decrease the time to safely navigate to the front door of a building.


Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 80 Years
Genders Eligible for Study:   Both
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • age 18 and over
  • legally blind

Exclusion Criteria:

  • decreased hearing
  • unable to understand or follow instructions
  • inability to walk and stand for 10 minutes
  Contacts and Locations
Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the Contacts provided below. For general information, see Learn About Clinical Studies.

Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00920231

United States, Georgia
Atlanta VA Medical and Rehab Center, Decatur
Decatur, Georgia, United States, 30033
United States, Maryland
Baltimore VA Medical Center VA Maryland Health Care System, Baltimore, MD
Baltimore, Maryland, United States, 21201
Sponsors and Collaborators
Principal Investigator: Cha-Min Tang, PhD MD VA Maryland Health Care System, Baltimore
  More Information

No publications provided

Responsible Party: Department of Veterans Affairs Identifier: NCT00920231     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: C6731-R
Study First Received: June 11, 2009
Last Updated: November 24, 2014
Health Authority: United States: Federal Government processed this record on November 25, 2014