It was in late 2017 that the New York Department of Transport (DOT) launched a call for innovative projects, with the aim of making mobility safer for visually-impaired and blind people. More precisely, to improve safety at pedestrian crossings with a technological solution based on personal devices (smartphones) and geographical data.
Okeenea is a French-based company specialized in the accessibility field for 25 years and develop smart audio signage on-demand solutions.
A connected infrastructure that provides relevant information for pedestrian
We designed a connected infrastructure with a dual purpose: ensure that visually-impaired and blind people can cross safely, and provide geo-localized solutions for all citizens. A selective distribution network that provides the right information, at the right time, in the right place!
Each audible pedestrian signal contains a beacon to communicate with smartphones via Bluetooth. « aBeacon » by Okeenea is born!
By installing aBeacon audible pedestrian lights in New York City, Connecthings and Okeenea will be able to provide blind and visually-impaired people relevant information about their environment. They need to know more than the beacon’s status when they approach the crossing, they need to know where the beacon is located.
Towards the smart pedestrian crossing of tomorrow
Therefore, aBeacons’ audible signals can be set to announce the street name and may include additional information to describe the environment for example the presence of a two-phase crossing, a bike lane or bus lane, etc. Indeed, this system makes it possible to equip complex crossings with more comprehensive information.
This is a first step towards smart pedestrian crossings of tomorrow!
We are very proud that New York City’s DOT has chosen two French expert companies. Stronger together!