This trial is active, not recruiting.

Condition blindness
Treatments initial system, modified system
Phase phase 1
Sponsor Department of Veterans Affairs
Start date November 2011
End date December 2013
Trial size 16 participants
Trial identifier NCT00920231, C6731-R


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.

United States No locations recruiting
Other countries No locations recruiting

Study Design

Allocation non-randomized
Endpoint classification efficacy study
Intervention model parallel assignment
Masking open label
Primary purpose supportive care
8 blind subjects are asked to use a prototype computer vision system to determine the challenges facing computer vision based indoor navigation. Subjects are asked to travel through the hallways of a large hospital from the front entrance to a side entrance. The pathway consists of 9 segments including corners, four-way intersections, and doorways, and the total length of the route was approximately 200 meters. This challenging route was designed to stress the capabilities of the navigation system. It is a route that even sighted persons may find difficult to follow without practice. Pedestrian traffic was present throughout the route and lighting conditions could change in two of the segments where there were windows and doors.
initial system
The computer vision system is used to assist blind subject to navigate an extended path with multiple turns within a hospital setting.The initial prototype system would have been successfully tested for outdoor navigation and basic object recognition tasks.
The system is redesigned in response to problems identified from the first phase of the study. The redesigned system is tested by a second set of 8 blind subjects in the same indoor path as used in Arm 1.
modified system
The problems associated with the initial system were identified and modified. This modified system was tested with a second separate group of subjects. The redesigned system is used to assist blind subject to navigate the same extended path with multiple turns within a hospital setting.

Primary Outcomes

Frequency of Device Failures Per Attempt to Complete a Navigation Course
time frame: The subject is given as much time as needed to complete the task

Secondary Outcomes

Ability to Meet the Subjective Travel Needs of the Blind Subject
time frame: no time limit

Eligibility Criteria

Male or female participants from 18 years up to 80 years old.

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

Additional Information

Official title Computer Vision System for the Blind Veteran
Principal investigator Cha-Min Tang, PhD MD
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. After the system has passed objective engineering milestones, blind subjects will be tested to determine whether the novel system will improve the ability of the blind to travel over a test course in a hospital setting.
Trial information was received from ClinicalTrials.gov and was last updated in March 2015.
Information provided to ClinicalTrials.gov by Department of Veterans Affairs.