Thomas Bridge 22 May 2015

High-tech headset unlocks city travel for visually impaired

Revolutionary technology trials have allowed visually impaired people to travel on public transport using ‘3D soundscapes’.

Joint working between charity Guide Dogs, Microsoft and the Future Cities Catapult has led to development of a prototype headset that could ‘empower’ disabled people and support city visitors and drivers.

The Cities Unlocked project has developed a system whereby beacons transmit data to a headset and pinpoint the user’s location. A series of pips in changing patters and frequency help the user adjust direction while commentary provides information on nearby landmarks and places of interest.

It has now helped a visually impaired person to travel independently from their home in Reading to London Paddington station.

Support for the project has also come from businesses and researchers including Nokia Lumia, Arup, the University of Nottingham and the Bartlett Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis at University College London.

The Future Cities Catapult is now working with several public and private organisations to roll out larger networks of the beacons.

Jenny Cook, head of strategy and research, Guide Dogs, said: ‘By working with people who are living with sight loss and developing a deep understanding of the challenges they face, we’ve shown that the right technology can empower people.’

Claire Mookerjee, project lead urbanism at Future Cities Catapult, said: ‘We all find navigation challenging. For tourists, delivery drivers or any other visitor, this research is very relevant – there could be any number of products and services here that can help people and have commercial value.’

Planning London under Labour image

Planning London under Labour

Grant Leggett, Executive Director and Head of Boyer’s London planning team, looks at the impact of a future Labour government on planning in London.
SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Building, Property Information and Compliance Manager

City of York Council
£47,760 to £54,463
We are looking for a motivated manager with experience of leading diverse and challenging teams. North Yorkshire
Recuriter: City of York Council

Applications Support Analyst

West Northamptonshire Council
£33,369 - £36,163
Fixed Term Contract until March 2025 (possibility to extend) Join our dynamic team as a 2nd/3rd Line Applications Support Analyst and play a pivotal role in supporting our systems and applications. This second-line position involves handling technical an Northampton
Recuriter: West Northamptonshire Council

Assistant Director for Education

Essex County Council
Negotiable
Assistant Director for EducationPermanent, Full Time£97,874 Per AnnumLocation
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Technician NRSWA Inspector

Derbyshire County Council
£27,507 - £29,418 per annum
Within the Highways Directorate we are looking for an enthusiastic, customer focused and experienced person to join the Service Derbyshire
Recuriter: Derbyshire County Council

Strategic Manager SEND

Stoke-on-Trent City Council
£70,999 - £74,630
Want to feel proud of your achievements every day? Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire
Recuriter: Stoke-on-Trent City Council
Linkedin Banner

Partner Content

Circular highways is a necessity not an aspiration – and it’s within our grasp

Shell is helping power the journey towards a circular paving industry with Shell Bitumen LT R, a new product for roads that uses plastics destined for landfill as part of the additives to make the bitumen.

Support from Effective Energy Group for Local Authorities to Deliver £430m Sustainable Warmth Funded Energy Efficiency Projects

Effective Energy Group is now offering its support to the 40 Local Authorities who have received a share of the £430m to deliver their projects on the ground by surveying properties and installing measures.

Pay.UK – the next step in Bacs’ evolution

Dougie Belmore explains how one of the main interfaces between you and Bacs is about to change.