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Smartphone outdoor navigation solution for blind and visual impaired people

Country of Origin: Spain
Reference Number: TOES20181010001
Publication Date: 11 October 2018

Summary

A Spanish ICT company has developed an accurate and reliable smartphone outdoor navigation solution for blind and visual impaired people. It provides sensory guidance based on the integration of 3D sounds and advanced satellite navigation technologies. The company is looking for license agreements.

Description

Walking outdoors is most of the time a difficult task for blind and visual impaired people, even if they are visiting a public park or any kind of outdoor public place. There are popular solutions such as the deployment of podotactile tiles that work reasonably, but are a very expensive solution that is not always deployed.

In order improve accessibility, the Spanish company has taken advantage of its expertise in the field of localisation and navigation solutions and has developed an accurate and reliable smartphone outdoor navigation app solution for blind and visual impaired people outdoors. It makes use of sensory interfaces enabling an eyes/hands/mind free navigator assistant that improves user’s autonomy, safety and experience.

The technology uses the smartphone internal sensors and implements a simple and intuitive compass that enables users to identify the North or mark specific bearings. Once the bearing is activated, the app generates the 3D sounds towards the right direction.

The solution presents the following features:
-Sensory guidance based on 3D sounds: Once the user has selected a destination or a route the app generates 3D sounds cues enabling the acoustic perception of the right direction. The eyes/hands free guidance provided by the smartphone app allows users to keep walking on the right path. The sounds and guidance indications can be customized according to the user needs.
-The solution provides all the information about a set of reliable and quality routes. The user can consult routes details, select the preferred one and activate the navigation to walk the route and discover its points of interests, even without cellular coverage.
-The user can record his own tracks or use other from third parties: Points of interest are recorded by pressing a button and other routes shared by friends or relatives can be used. The standard GPX format allows using routes from other platforms.
- If the user needs higher accuracy than the one provided by the smartphone, it is possible to use an external GPS Bluetooth.
-Stereo headphones can be used with the solution but the recommendation is to use open headphones that allow the user to perceive the 3D cue sounds without blocking the environmental sounds because it improves the experience.
-The app allows sending instant alert messages with the exact location to friends and relatives and to use a real time tracking device.

The solution can be offered by entities or professionals that want to create and manage their own content, providing accessibility to their activities and environments while getting data from their audience. Therefore, it is specially suitable for entities such as:
-Public entities: Councils, foundations, associations, that can create accessible itineraries and routes for any outdoor touristic space.
-National parks that want to offer a set of quality routes around the park.
-Tourism companies that want to create accessible spaces.

Also, any place (for example a park) can be previously digitalized in order to mark all the services and points of interest allowing the blind and visual impaired people to have the best experience visiting the place by using this navigation app.

The company is looking for ICT partners with experience in the accessibility sector willing to cooperate under a license agreement.
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Advantages and Innovations

-This is the first solution of the market that provides virtual guidance through 3D sounds making outdoor places accessible for blind and visual impaired people.

-Reduced cost: It is a low-cost accessibility solution when compared to traditional solutions such as podotactile tiles.

-Enhanced performance: The solution provides information about points of interest, services, etc. and can be used as a real time tracking device.

Stage Of Development

Already on the market

Requested partner

The company is looking for international ICT partners willing to cooperate under license agreement.
The desired partner profile is an ICT consultancy company that carries out accessibility projects and is willing to market this solution. The main targeted clients are public bodies that manage public spaces and tourism related companies.

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