Technology has always been a key player in helping people with vision impairments navigate their environment. From canes and guide dogs to GPS systems, there are a variety of tools available to help people with visual impairments get around.
Recent advances in technology have led to the development of new indoor and outdoor wayfinding tools that are specifically designed for people with vision impairments.
Indoor Wayfinding Tools
One of the biggest challenges for people with vision impairments is navigating indoor spaces. Indoor wayfinding tools can help with this by providing directions and Orienting cues.
Some indoor wayfinding tools use QR codes or NFC tags that can be placed on walls or doors. These tags can be read by a smartphone or other device to provide directions and Orienting information.
Other indoor wayfinding tools use beacons that emit a low-energy Bluetooth signal. When a person with a vision impairment walks by a beacon, their smartphone or other device can pick up the signal and provide directions and Orienting information.
Outdoor Wayfinding Tools
Outdoor wayfinding tools can help people with vision impairments navigate their surroundings by providing directional cues.
One type of outdoor wayfinding tool is a wearable device that vibrates to provide directional cues. The user wears the device on their body and as they walk, it vibrates to indicate when they need to turn.
Another type of outdoor wayfinding tool is a cane with integrated GPS. The GPS system provides turn-by-turn directions that are conveyed to the user through vibrations in the handle of the cane.
Both indoor and outdoor wayfinding tools can help people with vision impairments navigate their environment with greater independence.
Urban spaces can be challenging to navigate, even for people with good vision. For people with visual impairments, the challenges are even greater. Technology can help, however, with both indoor and outdoor wayfinding solutions that can make getting around town much easier.
Indoor wayfinding solutions use beacons or GPS to help people find their way around large buildings like hospitals or shopping malls. Outdoor wayfinding solutions use GPS to help people find their way around cities. Both types of technology can be used with smart phones or other mobile devices.
There are a number of companies that offer indoor and outdoor wayfinding solutions. One example is BlindSquare, which offers an app that uses GPS and beacons to help people with visual impairments navigate both indoor and outdoor spaces. The app can provide information about the user’s current location and nearby points of interest. It can also provide directions to a destination.
The app can be used with Apple products like the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch, as well as with Android devices. BlindSquare is just one example of the many indoor and outdoor wayfinding solutions available today. With the help of these solutions, people with visual impairments can confidently navigate urban spaces.