After performed several evaluations to the prototype, our team found that iDetect can assist visually impaired in shopping products without help from others and gain more independence in their daily life. This makes them to have a stronger intention to go outside and join the majority.
However, our solution is not perfect. There are some limitations in our solution.
Firstly, the provided information is not enough. For this prototype, what iDetect provides are only the price, brand, name, volume and special offer of the canned food. However, these may not enough for visually impaired to enjoy shopping in supermarkets. For example, our group, as ordinary people, we always want to read nutrition facts printed on the package to protect our health. Visually impaired do have this demand too. But it is quite difficult for our team to collect nutrition facts for each product from a reliable source. If the solution can provide the nutrition facts, visually impaired can shop in supermarkets with more supports.
Secondly, the solution is not able to provide an offline service. Since the relevant information of canned food is updated hourly, which is a power and bandwidth consuming operation, it is not suitable to store canned food information into the user’s phone. However, according to our team’s experience, phones may have bad reception in some supermarkets, especially in some underground supermarkets. iDetect may be out of service in these situations. If iDetect can be used offline, users are able to use it everywhere.
For the future work, iDetect can be enhanced by increasing the number of supported products. Canned food is only one kind of products in supermarkets. There are more kinds of products in supermarkets, such as drinks, snack foods, wines, etc. Visually impaired can have more choices when they are shopping in supermarkets.
Furthermore, iDetect can also be enhanced by providing iOS version. Not all the visually impaired use Android phone. Some of them may use iPhone. Providing IOS version can benefit more visually impaired.