Exploring the User Experience of an AI-based Smartphone Navigation Assistant for People with Visual Impairments
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Advancements in artificial intelligence (AI), computer vision, and smartphone technology have spurred the development of naviga- tion assistants aiming to improve the independent mobility experi- ence of people with visual impairments. Still, few studies have ex- plored whether such tools meet this intention. Therefore, this study aimed to examine the perceptions of people with visual impairments on an AI-based navigation assistant and how their perceptions may influence their use of these technologies. A study involving 13 par- ticipants was conducted with DeepNAVI, an AI-based smartphone navigation assistant for people with visual impairments in both indoor and outdoor environments. The participants reported mixed reactions towards the navigation assistant, from excitement about the promise of increased independence to a lack of trust and skepti- cism toward the reliability of this technology. The perceptions from the participants provide some valuable insights about AI-based smartphone navigation assistants and their practicality in real life.