In Europe 0.9 Million people are blind and 12 Million are visually impaired. Global the numbers are over 160 million. Over 60% of the blind and visual impaired in Europe are now 60 years of age or older. The WHO expects further growth of 30-50% within next 10-15 years related to ageing and diabetes. Despite all new technologies mobility for visually impaired still relies on remembering routes and using a long cane. Travelling outside a limited comfort zone requires help from others. Unnecessary economic and civil isolation is a consequence.

High accuracy mobility is a clear unmet need. Today satellite receivers have the size of a coin. However high accuracy positioning is still lacking due to quality and availability of satellite signals. The future of satellite navigation offers no solution in for the next decades. The IMAGO project will deliver a new positioning method filling the satellite gap for pedestrian navigation. This method will be based on video processing, comparing pre-walked and geo-tagged route movie frames to the current recorded scene. An image-based positioning and navigation system will be implemented at the functional prototype level and validated with users. The IMAGO consortium connects partners with specific technological and application domain knowledge. Users from the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium will be involved in the IMAGO project. Users will validate the systems during the various stages of development.


The objective of the IMAGO project is to develop and test a navigation and positioning technology for the blind and visual impaired exceeding the quality, accuracy and applicability of positioning technology based on satellite data. Through this IMAGO technology blind and visual impaired should be able to increase their independence in mobility.

Expected results and impact

An image-based positioning and navigation system will be implemented at the functional prototype level and validated with users. Image generated data will be converted into tactile information to communicate effectively with blind and visual impaired users. This IMAGO based application will be most likely be a part of the I-Cane product series which apply electronics and tactile communication.

Furthermore the results will be used to explore new options in handling image based medical information.


Partners involved in the IMAGO project

Organization Type Country Website
Applied Biomedical Systems bv SME The Netherlands
RWTH Aachen, dept medical information UNIKLINIK SME Germany
Mediafiler R&D The Netherlands
NVBS, Oogvereniging End User The Netherlands
Blindenzorg Licht & Liefde End User Belgium
I-Cane social technologies SME The Netherlands
  • Project name: IMAGO
  • Website:
  • Coordinator: I-Cane Social Technology BV
  • Duration: 36 Months
  • Starting Date: 01.09.2012
  • Total budget: € 1.267.571
  • Public contribution€ 793.668


Hans Slijp


T.: +31 (0)641182393

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