Latest in Beacon

Image credit:

Bluetooth beacons are helping the blind navigate London's Tube

Share
Tweet
Share
Save

Sponsored Links

London's Underground network can feel like a maze for even the most seasoned traveller, especially at rush hour when you're packed in with hordes of disgruntled commuters. The problem is only amplified for blind and partially sighted people, but a combination of Bluetooth beacons and smartphone app could make the experience less stressful. Wayfindr has been developed by Ustwo (yep, the folks behind the video game Monument Valley) and the Royal London Society for Blind People's (RLSB) Youth Forum to offer travellers audio-based directions and advice. A month-long trial at Pimlico station is now underway with 16 beacons tracking users' smartphones and activating descriptive notes. The information is basic, but could offer valuable guidance and, hopefully, confidence to blind and partially sighted people navigating the Underground independently.

Of course, on the Tube you need to stay alert, so the Wayfindr app is paired with bone conduction earphones that allow the wearer to listen to their surroundings simultaneously. It's a small trial for now, but Transport for London (TfL) says it could lead to further tests and shape how beacons are integrated into each station's physical architecture.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Comment
Comments
Share
Tweet
Share
Save

Popular on Engadget

Engadget's Guide to Privacy

Engadget's Guide to Privacy

View
This week in tech history: Android turns 11

This week in tech history: Android turns 11

View
Microsoft invites more people to test very rough Xbox features

Microsoft invites more people to test very rough Xbox features

View
Fitbit is reportedly in the early stages of exploring a sale

Fitbit is reportedly in the early stages of exploring a sale

View
Tilta mods Blackmagic's Pocket Cinema Camera with a tilt screen and SSD

Tilta mods Blackmagic's Pocket Cinema Camera with a tilt screen and SSD

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr