Hanyang Trail-Doolehgil Recreated on Our Hands
Smart Doolehgil application and shoe sole
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Hanyang University is known to have many hills, making the two-dimensional map less useful. It is not hard to encounter a visitor or a freshman on campus asking for directions year-round. The Industry-University Cooperation Foundation and the Wooyang Cooperation joined forces to develop Smart Doolehgil last April, which had its opening ceremony on December 12th. On Friday, January 9th, the team joined the 2018 College Lab Technology Start-up Demo Day in the Coex for the demonstration. News H joined the event to further explore the Smart Doolehgil.
Visitors, freshman, and the visually impaired
Doolehgil is a Korean word that refers to a walking road that goes around something. The Hanyang Doolehgil, therefore, refers to Hanyang’s eight scenic points and the roads that connect them. A 2.6km-long trail that passes through the campus covers major historical monuments and buildings of Hanyang. The trail provides a restful environment for people and an opportunity to see the whole Sungdong-gu at a glance.
Unfortunately, there are some people that cannot join the majority due to their visual impairment. Smart Doolehgil provides guidance to those who are not familiar with the campus but mainly for the visually impaired. “We are always interested in corporate social responsibility (CSR) and have the technology to provide better guidance,” said Kim Jin-hong (Chemistry, '85), the CEO of Wooyang Cooperation. Smart Doolehgil was created with Wooyang Corporation’s technology in making beacon devices combined with the Hanyang Industry-University Cooperation Foundation’s data processing technology. A beacon is an intentionally conspicuous device designed to attract attention to a specific location. More than 350 beacon sensors planted on campus are now working as the new guide dog.
For better mobility
With the smartphone application and a shoe sole, the visually impaired or individuals with very poor vision can locate buildings, ATMs, and bathrooms. A pair of location devices is embedded in the specially designed shoe sole, and vibrates in the direction where the person has to move to. For instance, if a walker needs to turn right at a corner, the sole in their right shoe vibrates. The device also lets the user know whenever he or she is facing a staircase, a hazardous place, or has arrived to their destination. The smartphone application is used together with the device to provide verbal instruction. Both Kim and Jang Gi-sool (Manager, Industry-University Cooperation Foundation) mentioned that Kim Hee-jin (Management, 4th year) helped a lot, especially in giving insight from the perspective of the visually impaired, from what they need the most in order to enhance their mobility. She also contributed in choosing the location of the device to be inserted in the shoes, where it was least apparent from the outside. Other options, such as the wrists or neck, would have discouraged the handicapped from using the system.
“We still need more progress. The most important thing is the preciseness, as many blind people cannot find the entrance of the building even if they succeed in finding the building itself. The more accurate it is, the better,” mentioned Kim. The Smart Doolehgil’s opening ceremony was in December, but the system is constantly developing based on user experience. Both the Wooyang Cooperation and HYU plan to exhibit the technology to the mass market during the upcoming entrance ceremony in March when the need for an accurate map and guidance system within the campus is at its highest. Kim’s ultimate goal is to grow his company as a social enterprise. With the success of the technology within Hanyang University, the Wooyang Cooperation will expand the system to roads and buildings outside the campus, yielding even better mobility for the visually impaired.
Kim So-yun firstname.lastname@example.org
Photos by Choi Jin-myung
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