Boni is a company from Turkey who have been working on a navigation system to aid those who are blind or have a visual impairment to navigate through unfamiliar spaces. The way they do this is by using small beacons installed in strategic places around buildings which transmit locational data to an app (currently available on iPhone but soon to be available on Android also). Using the app is very simple and allows you to choose a location that you would like to navigate to and have the app tell you the direction and distance you need to travel both audibly and visibly.
The beacon is seen on the ceiling
Additionally the app will transmit data about your surroundings as you walk around. For example, when you walk into the lobby here at The Chicago Lighthouse the app will relay the information that you are in the lobby, that the store is to your left, the front desk is in front of you, and the offices are to your right.
The Loud Steps app giving navigational data
This kind of tool can be very useful for navigating new and unfamiliar spaces. The beacons have already been installed in multiple places in Turkey such as shopping malls, and in the tests we have carried out here at The Chicago Lighthouse the navigation technology has proved to be useful to participants as an addition to their cane. In the future we hope that this technology will be commonplace making everywhere accessible to people with a visual impairment and providing a beacon of hope for equality everywhere.