Jing Guan

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Guan Jing holds a master degree in Product Design from The University of Edinburgh, UK. She got her bachelor degree in Furniture Design (Industrial Design) from Nanjing Forestry University. The collaborative project she involved which initiated by The Centre for Speckled Computing, part of the School of Informatics at The University of Edinburgh developed her interests in informatics design and interactive design. In 2014, she joined the School of Design, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, and her PhD research area is design and technology, with a focus on combining inclusive design with informatics technology by using product-user interaction model.

Research Title
A Study of Indoor Orientation and Mobility for Visually Impaired People through Multisensory Mental Map

Supervisors
Dr. Clifford Choy (Chief supervisor)
Mr. Peter Hasdell (Co-supervisor)

About the Research
Visually impaired people, as vulnerable and marginalised groups, are always heavily ignored by commercial designs and the mainstream society. Enhancing their abilities to build mental maps indoor will provide them with an opportunity to overcome their disadvantages and better fit into the mainstream society.

Many existing indoor mobility aids, especially some electronic mobility aids, have their own limitation. Specifically, most of the existing indoor mobility aids have overreliance on new technology, which means they will have a high cost but low product stability because of the limitation of modern technology. Besides, a single stimulus signal will lead to the receivers (visually impaired persons) getting tired and decrease the sensibility of receivers for signal given by the mobility aids. Furthermore, it is hard for visually impaired people to build mental maps that only depend on the single navigation signal and massive information given by an audio device, which is the main output of existing mobility aids, which may disturb how visually impaired people perceive other information from the environment.

However, the indoor multisensory mental map building system, which use another interaction signal instead of the optical signal and helps visually impaired people build their mental maps in interior space in a multisensory way, has the following comparative advantages: this system will be easily accepted by target groups as it does not need to change their previous memory method; helping visually impaired people build mental maps in a multisensory way will be more verisimilar and enjoyable.

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