Bluetooth beacons are helping the blind navigate London's Tube

London’s Underground network can feel like a maze for even the most seasoned travellers, especially at rush hour when you’re packed in with hordes of disgruntled commuters. The problem is only amplified for blind and partially sighted people, but a combination of Bluetooth beacons and smartphone app could make the experience less stressful. Wayfindr has been developed by Ustwo (yep, the folks behind the video game Monument Valley) and the Royal London Society for Blind People’s (RLSB) Youth Forum to offer travellers audio-based directions and advice. A month-long trial at Pimlico station is now underway with 16 beacons tracking users’ smartphones and activating descriptive notes. The information is basic, but could offer valuable guidance and, hopefully, confidence to blind and partially sighted people navigating the Underground independently.

Of course, on the Tube you need to stay alert, so the Wayfindr app is paired with bone conduction earphones that allow the wearer to listen to their surroundings simultaneously. It’s a small trial for now, but Transport for London (TfL) says it could lead to further tests and shape how beacons are integrated into each station’s physical architecture.


Source: Transport for London

Source: Engadget - Read the full article here

Author: Daily Tech Whip

This article is part of our 'News Tiles' service. The site is currently in Beta. When it is fully operational you will be able to search through and arrange the 'Tiles' to display a keyword, product or technology over your chosen time period. For example you would be able to display all of the leading tech articles on the new Kindle Fire, in one spot in real time. You will also have access to our own original reporting and analysis as well as a polished place to post your own thoughts & reviews here, amongst the Daily Tech Whip Community. Please let us know if you have any feedback via the contact form or via Twitter. Don't forget to come back next week and see our full site and claim your name and your own free tech blog.

Share This Post On