Assistance for Runners with Blindtrack

Blindtrack – tracking and positioning in sports

At a glance

Receivers for Positioning with Blindtrack
© Photo Fraunhofer IIS/Kurt Fuchs

Receivers for Positioning with Blindtrack

One of today’s key social issues is inclusion of disabled people, a concept that has been put into practice to some degree in kindergartens and schools. In keeping with this is the fact that public interest in the Paralympic Games has been greatly increasing.

Against this backdrop, there is a demand for technical aids that enable visually impaired runners to train for, and participate in, sports events without experiencing any barriers.

This is where the Blindtrack system comes in. It will help blind or partially sighted people become more flexible and independent in going about their leisure and health-related activities. In this way, it will contribute to their quality of life.

In this context, the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS is developing a tracking and positioning system that will use a belt worn by the visually impaired runner to provide tactile and acoustic warning signals and directions whenever the athlete is about to leave a previously defined lane.

Technology

Blind or partially sighted runners will be tracked using Fraunhofer IIS’s BlackFIR® wireless tracking technology. Several tracking methods are being combined to make it possible to determine not only a runner’s position, but also their current lane, speed and movement characteristics.

By analyzing imminent situations, it will be easy to prevent unintentional lane changes as well as collisions with other runners.

In the background, the system will perform calculations to determine which lane is ideal for the runner. The information will be transmitted to the athlete via Wi-Fi, with a vibrating belt producing warning signals as required and indicating when and how to change lane.

For training monitoring purposes, the system will log specific data that help optimize the athlete’s performance.

Uniquely, Blindtrack will enable blind runners to stay in a predefined lane without the help of an accompanying runner. The project brings various benefits to clients and users

Benefits for Clients and Users:

Ability for visually impaired long-distance runners to run unaccompanied

Elimination of the need to adjust to accompanying runner’s fitness level

Speed measurement

Training monitoring

Performance optimization based on measurement of speed and distance traveled

Ability to compete with sighted athletes

Avoidance of inadvertent lane changes and collisions with other runners

 

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Blindtrack - Tracking and Positioning in Sports

Offer

Fraunhofer IIS provides integration of a range of enabling technologies for real-time tracking and positioning in sports. We are also available to test tracking and positioning systems and implement additional event detection functionality. The purpose of the Blindtrack project is to further develop the BlackFIR® technology for use in sports while translating it into products for the benefit of industrial partners.

More information

 

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