3D Virtual Environments for the Rehabilitation of the Blind
The accretion of orientation and mobility skills in blind people is fundamental for the development of an independent life. To these ends, activities oriented towards reinforcing this line of knowledge require direct interactions with spaces in real places, and the assistance of an educator or a companion as well. The objective of this study was to design, implement and evaluate 3D virtual environments in order to evaluate orientation and mobility learning in an unfamiliar environment based on the use of such environments. The procedure was provided by a learning stage in which the user learned to move about in the virtual environments, followed by an interaction stage in which he/she traveled virtually through the environments, to then travel the virtual environments that had been navigated virtually in the real world. To simulate the virtual surroundings, Unreal Engine was used, which is a gaming engine that allows for the construction of scenarios through a graphic editor. The results obtained show that the users were able to run the established route without any difficulties, for which reason it can be established that it is possible to produce mental models of real places through virtual interactions guided only by auditory cues.
KeywordsVirtual Reality Virtual Environment Mobility Learning Cardinal Point Unfamiliar Environment
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