The Wayfindr system -- a method of guiding people with eyesight problems around the place using beacons and smartphones -- is being tested in London, with a trial now running within the warren of tunnels that make up Euston tube station.
The project is being led by the Royal London Society for Blind People and app/gaming developer Ustwo, as is being funded by a $1m grant from Google.org. It's described as being an audio navigation system, with this current prototype delivering audio directions via a prototype smartphone app that pulls in data from a series of beacons installed throughout the station.
Dr Tom Pey, RLSB chief exec and Wayfindr chair, said: "Smartphones have revolutionised the lives of blind people, giving us a level of independence that 20 years ago we couldn’t have imagined. What makes Wayfindr so strong is the focus on smartphones, meaning blind people don’t have to spend hundreds of pounds on different gadgets - they have everything they need in their pockets. I am excited for our young people to be at the forefront of making London the most accessible city in the world, through the Wayfindr Standard."
If all goes well, the Wayfindr Standard will launch in early 2016, giving all app developers and infrastructure managers a unified method of helping visually impaired people get about. [TfL]