Ross Atkin and Associates are working out ways the Internet of Things can seamlessly help the disabled

For most able-bodied people, navigating a hectic urban environment, especially when they are unfamiliar with it, can be a challenge. But the blind, deaf, and elderly can have twice the difficulties. With Ross Atkin and Associates‘ Responsive Street Furniture, however, street lights and crosswalks can momentarily step forward to meet the needs of individuals using them.

Users of the service, which was created in partnership with U.K. landscaping manufacturer Marshalls, would create a unique account on a website and select their preferences for accessibility, including brighter streetlights with better tonal contrast, more places to sit, and audio information in different languages. The site stores users' data, as does their smartphone or key fob; the responsive street beacons then detect the phone or fob as they walk by, automatically adjusting these qualities accordingly.

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