Getting From Here to There: A Short Review of TrekkerBy Leventhal, Jay; Access World, Vol. 4, No. 4, pp. 13-17
Publication Date: July 2003
Article describes Trekker from VisuAide, which is an orientation tool for people who are blind or visually impaired that utilizes global positioning satellite (GPS) technology. The product consists of a personal digital assistant, a GPS receiver, a speaker, and a battery pack, all of which are attached to a strap that is worn around the user’s neck. When a GPS signal is received, Trekker announces the name of the street on which the user is walking. When the user is roughly 30 feet from an intersection, Trekker describes the intersection; for example, the Eloquence speech synthesizer will warn, “Four-way intersection, Queens Boulevard crossing 70th Street.” Points of interest from a commercial database are included, such as restaurants, banks, schools, and gas stations. Users can add their own points of interest by dictating specific locations into Trekker’s microphone. The author recommends some adjustments, as Trekker does not tell the user which direction the user is traveling in, and the GPS system does not function properly in a vehicle, inside, or among tall buildings. The author does contend that Trekker is portable and easy to use, and that GPS technology does have the potential to meet the orientation needs of people who are blind or have low vision.
Assistive Products Discussed: TREKKER
Published by: AFB Press (Website:http://www.afb.org/Section.asp?SectionID=46)
American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) (Web Site: http://www.afb.org )