From the shortest to the safest: new study classifies stressful environments in visually impaired mobility

Mobility in indoor and outdoor environments can be a challenging task for visually impaired people (VIP), especially when navigating in unfamiliar sites. "Multimodal Classification of Stressful Environments in Visually Impaired Mobility Using EEG and Peripheral Biosignals" is a study by ISI Foundation Researcher Kyriaki Kalimeri and former ISI Post-Doctoral Fellow Charalampos Saitis (Technische Universität, Berlin) aiming at better understand the cognitive-emotional experience of VIP in unfamiliar urban environments, both outdoor and indoor.
Published in IEEE Transactions on Affective Computing, expanding the research that won the Best Paper Award at HCI 2016, this study has been developed inside the multidisciplinary scientific project "Sound of Vision – Natural sense of vision through acoustic and haptics" (partnered by ISI Foundation), and it proposes a multimodal framework which predict the actual environment among predefined generic classes of urban settings, reaching consistently high prediction rates (93% for the outdoor and 87% for indoor environments, weighted AUROC).
Results pave the way to emotionally intelligent mobility-enhancing systems capable of implicit adaptation not only to changing environments but also to shifts in the affective state of the user in relation to different environmental and situational factors. This would take the concept of navigation of VIP people one step further: accounting not only for the shortest path but also for the most effortless, least stressful and safest one.
Multimodal Classification of Stressful Environments in Visually Impaired Mobility Using EEG and Peripheral Biosignals, Charalampos Saitis and Kyriaki Kalimeri, IEEE Transactions on Affective Computing, 23th August 2018. Link: https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/8444724/