Noor Azlina Binti Md Norani 07 24

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    A final project submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the


    Major Area: Networking/Communication

    A project paper submitted to


    Approved by the Examining Committee:


    Project Supervisor, Examiner,


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    I hereby declare that the work in this project paper is on my own except for those

    quotations and summaries, which have been acknowledged.




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    Alhamdulillah, most of all I would like to convey my grateful feeling to Allah S.W.T

    for I am blessed to complete this research project in time. Special thanks to my

    supervisor, Mr. Ahmad Yusri Dak for helping and supervising me.

    I would also want to thank Mdm Nor Shahniza Kamal Bashah and Mr. Adzhar

    Abdul Kadir for giving me all the guidelines in order to complete the project.

    To my beloved parents and family, I would like to thank them for giving me a lot

    of support and encouragement for me to complete this project especially my

    mom and brother.

    To my beloved friends Kiekie, Erie, Eriena, Missfidz, Teletubbies, Bumblebee

    and others who have contributed and helped me during the completion of this


    Last but not least, to Tomoko and Jemy for their tools and so on.

    Thank you.


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    There is a slightly increased on the number of people become blind or visually impaired

    reported with difficulty in reading or unable to read letters in regular print. Basic activities

    such as riding a bus or buying a packet of sugar at the grocery store are just some of the

    challenges for the blind people to face everyday.

    A common problem for the blind people when go for shopping is to differentiate between

    containers that feel the same but contain different contents. Besides, blind person must

    wait a grocery store employee to assist them identify the right product. This will lead to

    decrease their independence in daily activities.

    The GIIS project is developed to assist the blind people for identify grocery items during

    shopping using RFID technology and text to speech system. Within this system, the

    blind will know the related information of the item which they hold by stamping RFID tag

    on the RFID antenna before the system convert output text into speech on the hand

    phone via Bluetooth connection.

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    1.1 Introduction 1

    1.2 Problem Statement 2

    1.3 Project Objectives 2

    1.4 Project Scope 3

    1.5 Project Significance 3


    2.1 Introduction 42.2 Radio Frequency Identification System (RFID) 4

    2.2.1 What is RFID 4

    2.2.2 RFID system 5

    2.2.3 RFID source 5

    2.2.4 Passive and Active RFID tag 6

    2.2.5 Cost 7

    2.2.6 Advantages 7

    2.3 Different methodologies/approaches to solve the same problem 82.3.1 Assistive Technologies for the Blind (Trinetra) 8

    2.3.2 ScripTalk 9

    2.3.3 RoboCart 9

    2.3.4 I.D.Mate 10

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    2.4 Different methodologies/approaches to solve the similar problem 10

    2.4.1 Blind Audio Tactile System (BATS) 10

    2.4.2 Aloud Digital Audio Labeling System 11

    2.4.3 Talking RX System 11

    2.4.4 A text to speech interface for Universal Digital Library 11

    2.4.5 Orizin 12


    3.1 Introduction 13

    3.2 Phase 1: Project Planning and Overview 15

    3.3 Phase 2: Analysis 16

    3.3.1 Hardware Requirement 17

    3.3.2 Software Requirement 18

    3.4 Phase 3: Design 19

    3.5 Phase 4: Development 19

    3.6 Phase 5: Testing and Implementation 21

    3.7 Phase 6: Maintenance 21


    4.1 Introduction 22

    4.2 RFID System Interface 224.3 Grocery Items Identification System 23

    4.3.1 Main System 23

    4.3.2 System Interfaces 25

    4.4 Text to Speech 38

    4.4.1 Text to Speech Output Page 38

    4.5 Bluetooth 40

    4.5.1 Bluetooth Devices 40

    4.6 SMS Sender 444.6.1 Interface SMS Sender 44

    4.7 Analysis of Interviews among Blind People 45

    4.7.1 Blind People Details 45

    4.7.2 Analysis of Interview Question Before Testing GIIS 45 Selected Questions 45

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    4.7.3 Analysis of Interview Question After Testing GIIS 50 Selected Questions 50


    5.1 Introduction 52

    5.2 Conclusion 52

    5.3 Recommendation 53

    5.2.1 Use RFID device with greater range of signal 53

    5.2.3 Use RFID reader that can detect tags at the same time 53

    5.2.4 Design Better Text to Speech Engine 53



    - Interview Questions 59


    - Coding 61

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    Table 2.1 RFID Class Structure 6

    Table 3.1 Hardware Requirements 17

    Table 3.2 Software Requirements 18

    Table 4.1 Schedule of Interviews 45

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    Figure 3.1 Overview of the structure of the research method 14

    Figure 3.2 Project Overview 15

    Figure 4.1 RFID detect items ID 22

    Figure 4.2 RFID tag with no any data yet 23

    Figure 4.3 GIIS Flowchart 24

    Figure 4.4 Login Interface 25

    Figure 4.5 Error Login Interface 26

    Figure 4.6 GIIS admins main page Interface 26

    Figure 4.7 GIIS staffs main page interface 27

    Figure 4.8 Register Item 28

    Figure 4.9 Example of items registration 28

    Figure 4.10 View item interface 29

    Figure 4.11 Redundant ID alert 29

    Figure 4.12 Main Item 30

    Figure 4.13 Search Item 31

    Figure 4.14 Search by ID 31

    Figure 4.15 Search Items by ID 32

    Figure 4.16 Items Information 32

    Figure 4.17 Search Item by Brand 33

    Figure 4.18 Delete Item Interface 33

    Figure 4.19 Example of Delete Item 34

    Figure 4.20 Confirm Delete Item 34

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    Figure 4.21 Delete Item 35

    Figure 4.22 After Successfully Delete Item 35

    Figure 4.23 View Item 36

    Figure 4.24 Edit Item Interface 36

    Figure 4.25 Confirm Edit Item Interface 37

    Figure 4.26 Items information had been modified 37

    Figure 4.27 Text to speech output page 39

    Figure 4.28 Bluetooth Devices Setting 40

    Figure 4.29 Show Bluetooth Devices 41

    Figure 4.30 Bluetooth File Transfer 41

    Figure 4.31 Transfer Files Name 42

    Figure 4.32 Loading Transfer File 42

    Figure 4.33 Bluetooth file transfer is completed 43

    Figure 4.34 Message sent to hand phone 44

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    Abbreviations Full Term

    API Application Programmable Interface

    GIIS Grocery Item Identification System

    OCR Optical Character Recognition

    OLE Object Linking Embedded

    TTS Text to Speech

    EPC Electronic Product Code

    UPC Universal Product Code

    SAPI Speech Application Programmable Interface

    PRONTO Prolog Natural Language Toolkit

    NLP Natural Language Processing

    RFID Radio Frequency Identification

    RFDC Radio Frequency Data Communication

    ID Identification

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    During daily activities, blind people had to be assisted from a sighted person.

    Basic activities such as riding the bus or buying a can of beans at the grocery

    store are just some of the challenges that these blind people have to face

    everyday. There are a lot of assistive technologies for the blind such as Braille to

    improve their reading. But, Braille literacy is still not wide spread. Generally, a

    significant number of individuals who are legally blind find that large print or audio

    text are helpful rather than using Braille as a reading medium.

    Traditionally, blind people had to be assist from a sighted person in doing their

    daily activities such as identify and shopping for items in grocery store. The

    common problem for the blind is to differentiate between containers that feel the

    same but have different contents. Normally, when they go for shopping, they will

    request a help from grocery store employee to identify the items which they hold.

    Sometimes, this will lead to burden both parties besides wasting their time.

    Furthermore, this situation will contribute to less independence among blindshopper. They have to plan their shopping trips to ensure the store is less empty

    where they are able to buy a large number of items because of fear to bother the

    grocery store employee.

    This project is limited to a small grocery store which consists of less than a

    thousand of selected items. Besides it is limit of distance because passive tags

    have practical read distances ranging from 0 to 10 cm using the RFID reader.

    Thus, this will give an independent shopping experience where the blind shopperwill not ask to be assist from the grocery store employee and they are able to

    locate and search the products on their own. As a matter of fact, this technology

    will save their time to shop. Furthermore by using GIIS, it is more economical

    compared to apply Braille tags on every stocked product in a grocery store.

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    There are many kind of items especially foods, can be identified by touch or

    smells such as vegetables and fruits. But it is harder to identify grocery items

    such as bottles of ketchup, canned beans, cereal boxes, packets of biscuits and

    others. This is a common problem for the blind people to differentiate between

    containers that feel the same but that have different contents. Although they are

    guided with typical blind navigation aid such as cane or guide dog, sometimes it

    is useless since the grocery stores often change the location of items. Thus it will

    be more serious problem to the blind people if they not fetch the right product,

    but they had fetch products which are poison, hazardous and others.

    Normally blind people must wait a grocery employee to have a free moment in

    order to assist them to identify grocery item which they was hold. This will burden

    both parties since the blind have to wait for several moments and describe the

    desired products which will waste their time, while the grocery store employee

    have to spend some times to fetch the product. Furthermore, this will lead to

    decrease the blind people independence in daily activities.

    Therefore an alternative technology which will assist the blind people to shop in a

    grocery store is needed to improve the quality of shopping experience for them.


    The objectives of this project are:

    i. To enhance and improve interface of Grocery Items Identification System


    ii. To develop a Bluetooth connection coding between (GIIS) to a Bluetoothgadget or mobile.

    iii. To analyze the effectiveness of the system from user needs perspectives.

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    The scopes of this project are:

    i. The project was focused on grocery store only.

    ii. Limit of distance because passive tags have practical read distances

    ranging from 0 to 6 cm using the RFID reader.

    iii. The type of hand phone used is Sony Ericson (w850i).

    iv. The target users are blind people.


    This project will give a lot of benefits for many parties. Not only for the blind

    people, this project gives benefits to researcher, grocery management and

    visually impaired people.

    Implementation of technology for the blind people can offer additional

    independent shopping experience for the blind. The blind shopper should not

    need to ask for the assistance from the grocery store employee anymore and

    they are able to identify the products which they were holding on their own. As a

    matter of fact, this technology will allow faster and accurate identification, withoutrequiring assistance from a sighted person during the time of identification.

    The implementation of technology does not required blind people to bring along

    big equipment to assist them. They just have to bring their hand phone that has

    been configured with the GIIS and Bluetooth connection. This will not burden the

    blind people of having trouble bring a lot of equipment and gadget to assist them

    in identify item. Thus, the blind will gain a new experience in using new


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    The literature review is valuable resources which consist of knowledge and

    thinking about a topic area. This chapter will be discussing on all of the

    information that related to the project. These literature reviews are taken from

    internet articles, books and cite about previous research that related to Grocery

    Items Identification System (GIIS).


    2.2.1 What is RFID?

    Radio frequency identification or RFID is a generic term for technologies that use

    radio waves to automatically identify people or objects. There are several

    methods of identification, but the most common is to store a serial number that

    identifies a person or object, and perhaps other information, on a microchip that

    is attached to an antenna (the chip and the antenna together are called an RFIDtransponder or an RFID tag). The antenna enables the chip to transmit the

    identification information to a reader. The reader converts the radio waves

    reflected back from the RFID tag into digital information that can then be passed

    on to computers that can make use of it. Refer

    RFID system has two main components that are the RF reader also known as

    the base station or the interrogator and the RF tag (transponder).When RFID tag

    are attached to physical objects; they enable those objects to identify themselvesto RFID readers through the use of radio frequency communication.

    Along with passive RFID tags, there are also active tags which are slightly larger,

    about the size of a coin. These tags come with their own power sources and

    operate at greater signal strength over longer distances. Active RFID tags have
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    been proposed for use as intermediaries between passive RFID tags and a

    central reader or computer (Matt, 2005).

    2.2.2 RFID System

    A system requires, in addition to tags, a means of reading or interrogating the

    tags and some means of communicating the data to a host computer or

    information management system. A system will also include a facility for entering

    or programming data into the tags, if this is not undertaken at source by the

    manufacturer. Quite often an antenna is distinguished as if it were a separate

    part of an RFID system. While its importance justifies the attention it must be

    seen as a feature that is present in both readers and tags, essential for the

    communication between the two.


    An RFID system consists of two main components, RFID tag (transponder) and

    RFID reader. RFID tag is usually attached to the object to be identified and

    carries information in an electronic microchip. RFID detect tags and performance

    read/ writes operations on RFID tags (Lara, 2005).

    Normally readers are connected with an additional interface to forward taginformation to another system. The most common RFID system, the reader

    transmits a low-power radio signal to the tag, which receives the signal and uses

    it as a power source to activate the embedded integrated circuit, before transmit

    the information stored in it back to the reader through the antenna. The

    information carried by the RFID tag is the identity of the tag and other relevant

    information (Lara, 2005).

    2.2.3 RFID Source

    According to Matt, Rob, Gaynor (May 2006) RFID tags come in a variety of

    different types have been defined in an RFID Class Structure by the Auto-ID

    Center and later through EPC global.
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    Class Class Layer Name Class Functionality

    1 Identity Tags Purely passive, Identification tags

    2 Higher Functionality Tags Purely passive, identification,

    additional functionality (read/ write


    3 Semi Passive Tags Addition of on board battery power

    4 Active Ad-hoc Tags Communication with other active tags

    5 Reader Tags Able to provide power for and

    communicate with other tags, eg: can

    act as a reader, transmitting and

    receiving radio waves.

    Table 2.1: RFID Class Structure

    2.2.4 Passive and Active RFID Tags

    Active and passive RFID are fundamentally different technologies. Active RFID

    tag has an internal power source, battery. The battery that can be used as a

    partial or complete source of power for the tag's circuitry and antenna, and may

    have longer range and larger memories than passive tags, as well as the ability

    to store additional information sent by the transceiver. Some active tags contain

    replaceable batteries for years of use (JR Tuttle, 1997).

    Passive RFID tags have no internal power supply (battery).The power is supplied

    by the reader. When radio waves from the reader are encountered by a passive

    RFID tag, the coiled antenna within the tag forms a magnetic field. The tag draws

    power from it, energizing the circuits in the tag. The tag then sends the

    information encoded in the tag's memory and temporarily stores a very small

    amount of energy from the readers signal to generate its own quick response.

    Even though active RFID offer best performance than passive RFID, most of the

    researcher prefers to use passive RFID in their system.

    For GIIS, passive RFID tag will be used to accomplish this project. This type of

    RFID is chosen because the tag is functions without a battery; this tag has a

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    useful life of twenty years or more. The tag is typically much less expensive to

    manufacture and much smaller. Passive tags have almost unlimited applications

    in consumer goods and other areas.

    2.2.5 Cost

    According to Grajales (2003), RFID readers using the UHF band are among the

    most expensive purchases for companies complying with supply chain mandates

    from Wal-Mart and others. Wal-Mart consistently cites UHF reader costs as

    verging on the prohibitive. The typical UHF reader today costs more than $2500.

    The readers price depends on its features and functionality. Passive tags are

    cheaper than active tags. The cost is actually depends on frequency, amount of

    memory, antenna design and packaging around transponder.

    Refer to http://www.rfidjournal.com

    2.2.6 Advantages

    According to Nadeem (1999), RFID offer not line of sight where RFID tags do

    need to be visible to be read or written. Besides, RFID is a robust technology

    because they do not need to be visible; they can be encased within ruggedmaterials protecting them from the environment they are being used in. This

    means they can be used in harsh fluid and chemical environments and rough

    handling situations.

    Furthermore, RFID tags can be read from significant distances (especially the

    active variety) and can also be read very quickly. This is especially useful when

    the items needing to be identified are moving quickly for example a conveyor.

    This technology also can read multiple items in at the same time.

    As a matter of fact, since tags can be enclosed, they are much more difficult to

    tamper with. A number of tag types now also come programmed with a unique

    identifier (serial identification) which guaranteed to be unique throughout the

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    In developing this project, there are some projects that address the needs of

    blind users in grocery-shopping or other purchasing context. These previous

    project are very useful for us as a guidelines and give a great details of this topic

    in order to accomplish all of the objectives.

    2.3.1 Assistive Technologies for the Blind (Trinetra)

    In this research project by Priya, Patrick (2006) has developed cost effective

    assistive technologies to increase the quality of life for the blind by harnessing

    the collective capability of diverse networked embedded devices to support

    navigation, grocery shopping, transportation and others. The blind will scan aisle

    which equipped with RFID tag using Baracoda IDBlue-RFID scanning pencil and

    Baracoda barcode scanning pencil before sent via Bluetooth to Trinetra Symbian

    C++ application residing on the mobile phone. The application checks a

    persistent, most recently- used (MRU) local, first-level, catch for a product match

    before turn to the end user. The Trinetra remote server will return the result to the

    mobile phone application via TCP. Then the user will able to hear the output

    through his mobile phone.

    This system is similar with GIIS in term of using RFID technology to identify

    grocery items. Besides, the blind can hear the output; item description. Trinetra

    system has a drawback since require the blind to bring a lot of device such as

    Baracoda IDBlue-RFID scanning pencil, Baracoda scanning barcode pencil and

    mobile phone.

    This system is different with GIIS in term of GIIS is using RFID device whichconsist of RFID reader, tag and antenna. The blind just have to bring a hand

    phone that has been configured with the Bluetooth application. Besides that, they

    just stamp the RFID tag before the system will identify the items information and

    speak out the output through the hand phone.

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    2.3.2 ScripTalk

    En-vision (2005) had developed ScripTalk where it is a talking medication-label

    system that exploits radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology to tag and

    later identify prescription drugs for visually impaired individuals. When a

    ScripTalk user submit a prescriptions to a pharmacy, the pharmacy uses a

    special ScripTalk software and a custom printer to generate and affix an RFID

    label containing information such as patients name, drug name and others. The

    ScripTalk user retrieves the information off the affixed label using a portable,

    electronic reader unit with vice synthesizer to read the label details aloud.

    Similar to GIIS, it use RFID technology to identify the information needed.

    Besides that, this project was implemented to help the visually impaired person

    by speak out the information before it can be hear by the user. But, this system is

    different with GIIS since it requires special RFID labels and RFID-label printer.

    2.3.3 RoboCart

    The RoboCart from Utah State University provides for robotic assistant to aid the

    blind in the task of grocery shopping. The principle of this technology is to assist

    the blind in navigating through a store and in carrying their purchased items. It isdevelop from the idea of a guided dog which always been used by the blind to

    assist them during navigation. RoboCart relies on RFID tags that are embedded

    at various locations in the store, and is not intended for individual ownership but

    rather requires an investment of the store.

    This project is similar to GIIS since it was developed using RFID technology to

    assist the blind during grocery shopping. But, this project is different from GIIS

    where do not have to use special recorder and audio label in order to speak outthe output.

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    2.3.4 I.D. Mate

    The I.D. Mate product is a talking barcode scanner which is specifically targeted

    for blind users. The product is portable, electronic device that scans barcodes

    and labels of various items at the grocery store. On board the device is a UPC

    database of almost 1 million items to enable the identification of scanned items. It

    eliminates the need to visually and precisely locate the barcode since run by

    omni directional scanner. This product allows voice message to be recorded and

    associated with any scanned item, in case user wishes to recall important

    information. Custom barcodes can be generated and affixed to items without

    barcodes on them.

    The similarities between GIIS and this product is developed to assist the blind

    identify items during shopping at the grocery store. While the difference from

    GIIS are the I.D.Mate use barcode technology and have to record voice message

    before used in the system.



    2.4.1 Blind Audio Tactile System (BATS)

    The BATS project focused on helping people with visually impaired access and

    explores spatial information using standard open source software and standard

    computer hardware. Besides, this project uses prior techniques to present maps

    to the blinds such as text to speech synthesis, auditory icons and tactile


    This project is similar to GIIS in term of it was develop to assist the blind gatherinformation using text to speech application programmable interface. The

    difference between this project and GIIS where, it was develop by using Python

    language, Open Database Connectivity besides using touch screen concept.

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    2.4.2 Aloud Digital Audio Labeling System

    This system consists of an audio-recording device that allows the pharmacist to

    generate an audio label for a prescription bottle. The user employs the Aloud

    player unit to listen to the audio labels by placing the tagged prescription bottle

    onto the player unit. This requires custom devices at the pharmacys end, and

    requires the cooperation of the pharmacist in order to ensure the effective usage.

    This system is similar to GIIS since it was developed to help the blind identify the

    prescription needed by speak out the information needed. But, this system is

    different from GIIS where do not have to use special recorder and audio label in

    order to speak out the output.

    2.4.3 Talking RX System

    This system is developed to contribute a device that contains a 60-seconds

    digital recording device that fits on the bottom of a standard prescription bottle.

    The pharmacist records the prescriptions related information into the device

    using recessed record button. The user can listen to the recording later at home

    by pressing another button on the device. Each prescription bottles requires its

    own unit, thereby requiring the user to buy as many units as the products that hewishes to identify in this manner.

    This system is similar to GIIS in terms of it alert the user by talking the required

    information. But it is different from GIIS since do not have to record any

    information related to the grocery items. The admin just have to key in the

    information in the GIIS system before the system will speak out the output.

    2.4.4 A text to speech interface for Universal Digital Library

    This project using text to speech interface for UDL portal would enable access to

    the digital content in voice mode, and also provide access to the digital content

    for illiterate and vision-impaired people. This project focuses on design and

    implementation of text to speech interface for UDL portal primarily for Indian

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    languages. It was implemented using OCR, scanner and text to speech server to

    obtain the information of books before speak out the output.

    The similarity to GIIS is this project is implemented for helping the blind to identify

    the correct item. In this case, it was used to identify the books. While the

    difference to GIIS, this project use different technologies to detect the books, by

    using OCR and scanner. Besides, this project used multi language in their TTS


    2.4.5 Orizin

    This project using RFID technology to identify the stock and items information in

    retails stores in India. The implementation had been done on 2005 which

    covered the identification and verification of stores stocks information or

    inventory information. The RFID system Orizin set up includes a station consist

    of a desktop RFID reader for tagging items and updating the prices. As items are

    received at the store, workers outfit them with 867 MHz RFID tags based on EPC

    globals second-generation standard. Relevant information is linked to the unique

    EPCs. Data is transmitted via WiFi connection, from the desktop and handheld

    readers to a server.

    The similarities of this system with GIIS are this system is used to identify the

    items information in a store and using RFID technology. While the different from

    GIIS is GIIS is a system for the blind users and for a small grocery store which

    less than a thousand items. Besides, GIIS do not use EPC during the project