BBeep: A Sonic Collision Avoidance System for Blind Travellers and Nearby Pedestrians
Seita Kayukawa, Keita Higuchi, João Guerreiro, Shigeo Morishima, Yoichi Sato, Kris Kitani, and Chieko Asakawa
We present an assistive suitcase system, BBeep, that aims to clear the path for blind users when walking through crowded environments.

BBeep uses pre-emptive sound notifcations to help clear a path by alerting both the user and nearby pedestrians about the potential risk of collision.
BBeep uses pre-emptive sound notifcations to help clear a path by alerting both the user and nearby pedestrians about the potential risk of collision.
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Abstract
We present an assistive suitcase system, BBeep, for supporting blind people when walking through crowded environments. BBeep uses pre-emptive sound notifications to help clear a path by alerting both the user and nearby pedestrians about the potential risk of collision. BBeep triggers notifications by tracking pedestrians, predicting their future position in real-time, and provides sound notifications only when it anticipates a future collision. We investigate how different types and timings of sound affect nearby pedestrian behavior. In our experiments, we found that sound emission timing has a significant impact on nearby pedestrian trajectories when compared to different sound types. Based on these findings, we performed a real-world user study at an international airport, where blind participants navigated with the suitcase in crowded areas. We observed that the proposed system significantly reduces the number of imminent collisions.
Publications
Seita Kayukawa, Keita Higuchi, João Guerreiro, Shigeo Morishima, Yoichi Sato, Kris Kitani, and Chieko Asakawa. 2019. BBeep: A Sonic Collision Avoidance System for Blind Travellers and Nearby Pedestrians. In Proceedings of the 2019 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 2019).
CHI 2019 DOI Talk Slide Paper BibTeX Azusa Ono Memorial Award

粥川青汰, 樋口啓太, João Guerreiro, 森島繁生, 佐藤洋一, Kris Kitani, 浅川智恵子. BBeep:歩行者との衝突予測に基づく警告音を用いた視覚障害者のための衝突回避支援システム. インタラクション, 2019.
インタラクション2019 Talk Slide Paper Best Paper Award
Authors
Waseda University
Carnegie Mellon University
University of Tokyo
Carnegie Mellon University
Waseda University
Carnegie Mellon University
University of Tokyo
Carnegie Mellon University
Waseda Research Institute for Science and Engineering
University of Tokyo
Carnegie Mellon University
IBM Research
Carnegie Mellon University
Related Project
Seita Kayukawa, Tatsuya Ishihara, Hironobu Takagi, Shigeo Morishima, and Chieko Asakawa
IMWUT (UbiComp 2021)
Media
Carnegie Mellon University (press release). Collision-Detecting Suitcase, Wayfinding App Help Blind People Navigate Airports. 2019/5/7.
Industrial Equipment NEWS. Smart Suitcase Guides the Blind Through Airports. 2019/5/8.
ミルクフ ~見る工夫を見つける身につける~. 若き才能が取り組むアクセシビリティ研究に、視覚障害者の立場ですべきこと. 2019/10/18.
American Academy of Ophthalmology. Week in review: Suitcase alarm, DNase drop, RingJect redo. 2019/5/10.
Acknowledgements
We thank the Allegheny County Airport Authority and all study participants.This work was sponsored in part by JST CREST (JPMJCR14E1), JST AIP-PRISM (JPMJCR18ZG), NSF NRI award (1637927), NIDILRR (90DPGE0003), Uptake (CMU ML for Social Good fund) and Shimizu Corporation.