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Visually impaired people need to be provided with safe and comfortable mobility and guidance information in indoor public environments.
- Private group -
Solution Proposal Title:
Guidance system for visually impaired people in indoor scenarios
Kind of Innovation:
Do you own the IP rights?:
Field of application:
Transport and mobility
In which cities has this project already been tested or piloted?:
This solution would allow improving the autonomy, safety, comfort, accessibility and mobility of visually impaired people in indoor public spaces (although the general public will also be able to benefit from the services offered), by providing the following set of functionalities: • Provision of general guidance information through multimodal interfaces allowing visually impaired users and the general public to understand by themselves the layout, points of interest and different routing options within an indoor space. The information will be available both from fixed smart points within the public space and from users’ mobile personal devices. • Provision of specific non-intrusive guidance/feedback information supporting visually impaired users to follow correctly a route within a public space. From the technological point of view, this solution is based on a radiofrequency based system providing guidance feedback to the user through audible or haptic feedback in a personal miniaturized device. This system enables visually impaired users to follow correctly a route within a public space.
The solution would integrate mature and validated results of a previous research project which applied RF technologies for the development of a guidance system for visually impaired people. In order to reach commercial viability the system needs to be tuned, adapted to the requirements of visually impaired end users across different regions of Europe, and to the requirements of different public indoor spaces typologies, and finally integrated in the operational and management processes and platforms already used by the owners and managers of the public spaces.
This solution needs to be proven at real pilot scale, so that further investments are needed for the integration, deployment, and validation phase in which end users involvement is required. The estimation of the total investment needed is around 250.000 €. This amount could be higher depending on the number of pilots needed to prove the scalability and replicability of the system.
Suitable city context (including governance, spatial layout, climate, end-user involvement) :
This solution is focused to environments where the current standard approaches are mainly based on traditional elements with hardly any use of ICT support, such as tactile paving for signaling and guidance purposes. The solution is not aimed at replacing these pre-existing aids, which are anyway enforced by most national regulations in Europe, (related for instance to accessibility in public transport infrastructures); quite on the contrary, this solution would provide complementary added value thanks to the flexibility of ICT. In this way the solution would be able to produce a huge technological leap in the accessibility systems adopted at real scale nowadays.
Financial cost/benefit analysis and return on investment (period):
The validation process requires the involvement of infrastructure owners and visually impaired people associations. The idea is to involve both public or private owners of metro networks, rail networks, museums, shopping malls, universities, etc. who can be interested in improving accessibility and mobility of this collective. If the pilots are validated successfully, the solution can be quickly adopted and can be spread into many European cities. If pilots are kindly welcomed by end users and by infrastructure managers, expectations can reach a RoI between 3 and 5 years.
Interfaces with other technologies:
The approach to be followed in terms of interoperability is to look for interconnection protocols and paradigms which allow quick integration of the solution with heterogeneous systems, such as operational and management tools used in different public spaces typologies, with a loosely coupled architecture that facilitates the adaptation and replication of the solution in locations with different requirements.
Wider potential expected benefits for cities:
The solution will provide added value over traditional, non-ICT based accessibility solutions installed in public spaces. End users will be more confident when moving across public spaces, even for the first time, so the service will contribute to a better inclusion of visually impaired people, and to the access of public services under equal conditions. The solution could be replicated in any indoor public space regardless of its location, typology, or the cost requirements. That means a huge potential European market that includes all transport stations and hubs (airports, railway, subway and bus stations), museums, shopping malls, sport facilities, hospitals, office buildings, municipal buildings, etc.
Additional requirements on deployment:
Acceptance of the solution by visually impaired people will be essential to ensure its wide adoption. Therefore associations of end users and other stakeholders related to the system usage or deployment should be involved in the deployment or replication processes.
Above 1 000 000
Above 100 000