OCCAM Summer Research
This past summer, I've been working on campus at Olin College of Engineering as a Researcher at the OCCAM (Olin College Crowdsourcing and Machine Learning) lab. Headed by assistant professor of computer science Paul Ruvolo, we've been developing tools for people who are blind or who have low vision. I focused on developing my skills in accessible design, co-design processes, modern iOS application development, and collaborative programming.
Included among these is Clew, a free and open source app which allows users to record and retrace their steps using their smartphone cameras. Most importantly, users can retrace paths using only audio feedback, improving the ability of people who have low vision to navigate routes that would normally be difficult.
Currently, the app is in a functional state with a complete feature set and is being utilized by a variety of people through Apple's app store. Its use ranges widely, from providing assistance to people who are fully blind to giving a slight hand to people whose vision is not fully NLP (No Light Perception), but could still use it to provide themselves with more agency.
# Progress made
Priorities for this summer included usability, UI/UX, and refinements to the orientation process involved when beginning the navigation of a route.
Our research group successfully accomplished our goal in bringing the app forward, updating it visually on the front end and on the back end refactored it to utilize newer apple development styles and features.