Civic Innovation Program Leads to New Tool for Visually-Impaired Airport Passengers

A new navigation prototype for visually-impaired passengers is being tested at SFO Airport. A new navigation prototype for visually-impaired passengers is being tested at SFO Airport. ketanbhat/Shutterstock.com

Back in March, San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee announced that the city had selected six startup companies to be part of the Office of Civic Innovation’s new Entrepreneurship-in-Residence Program. The startup projects ranged from a smart device to measure neighborhood air quality to a multi-channel emergency communications notification system to a mobile technology initiative to boost engagement between the police department and residents.

Another project coming out of the city’s 16-week entrepreneurship program now being deployed to San Francisco International Airport. It’s a navigation tool from technology company Indoo.rs that will help visually impaired passengers get around the airport.

According to Indoo.rs:

Along with to/from gate indoor navigation, the SFO app also provides mobile assistance to other key areas in the terminal structure, such as restrooms, ATMs, VIP lounges, information points, and baggage claim. Routing-by-voice and radius search for POIs, leveraging Apple’s Voiceover for iOS feature, supports visually impaired people who may require additional assistance to find their way through the airport.

Indoo.rs worked with San Francisco's LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired to develop the system prototype, which is now being tested in SFO’s Terminal 2 and could be rolled out to users later this year.

Check out how the navigation system works ...

(Image via ketanbhat/Shutterstock.com)

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