Helping The Visually Impaired Navigate The World’s Subway Systems
Currently on trial in London and Sydney, world's first open standard for blind navigation is expanding again
For those who are visually impaired, navigating subways systems can be difficult, if not potentially dangerous if they fall onto the tracks or trip over stairs. As PSFK has covered before, Wayfindr helps the blind navigate crowded and hectic public transportation systems by supplying vocal direction, and is soon expanding beyond London and Sydney.
This program locates the user with BlueTooth beacons which are set up all over a station, placed strategically by Wayfindr for optimal command distribution. The beacons send out specific voice instructions to the user, such as how many steps the staircase has, where the ticket barriers are located, what trains will be on their different sides, and any potential hazards in their way, which they receive through headphones. Digital creator Umesh Pandya was especially careful in crafting the language used in the vocal commands, as they are the only cues that will be leading the user through the underground systems.