Wayfindr

Royal London Society for Blind People

 

RLSB partnered with digital product studio ustwo, to improve independent travel for blind people. A lack of mobility often leads to poverty, isolation and depression.
It is one of the biggest barriers to employment, contributing to the fact that 90% of blind young people are unemployed.

The partnership, formally known as Wayfindr, is trialing a wayfinding system on the London underground which could be rolled out across the tube network and to global locations. This new system enables vision impaired users to navigate stations independently and spontaneously. It has been backed by a $1 million dollar investment from Google and £250,000 from Transport for London.

The trials in stations use bluetooth i-beacons, strategically placed on platforms and walkways, to transmit location messages to smartphone navigation apps like Google maps. These apps then give highly accurate directions to the user to get from A to B. Clear descriptions of the directions are at the heart of this initiative. These directions adhere to a best practice audio navigation standard developed called the Wayfindr Open Standard.

This unprecedented solution will transform how vision impaired people use transport networks, opening up job and social opportunities.

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