Technological opportunity analysis: Assistive technology for blind and visually impaired people

Jumi Hwang, Kyung Hee Kim, Jong Gyu Hwang, Sungchan Jun, Jiwon Yu, Chulung Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


As life expectancy increases, the number of people who suffer from blind and visual impairment due to presbyopia is gradually increasing. Assistive device systems have been used to overcome various physical, social, infrastructure, and accessibility barriers. As technology has advanced, the scope of assistive technologies has been expanded. Therefore, we explored technological opportunities in assistive technology for the blind and visually impaired to establish a strategy for the technology competition in the near future. Firstly, the patent vacuum is detected by generating the patent map based on generative topographic mapping (GTM). Secondly, social network analysis is applied to identify the relationship between patent vacuums and occupied grid points in the patent map. Finally, the technology activity index and technology impact index are considered at quantitative and qualitative levels. Consequently, it was identified that wearable devices, including the road situation signal acquisition module and data acquisition process control module, could be occupied in the future. This study can provide practical ideas for research and development (R&D) in the field of assistive devices for the blind and visually impaired. In addition, this study can be an ample source for decision/policy makers to project new contents.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8689
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Oct 2


  • Assistive technology
  • Blind and visual impairment
  • Patent analysis
  • Technological opportunity discovery
  • Vacant technology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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