Big Lottery Fund gives £300,000 to Wayfindr

The concept has the potential to impact the lives of over two million visually impaired people

30 Nov 2017 by Andrew McClean

Wayfindr has received £300,000 from the Big Lottery Fund, which will go towards advancing technology that helps visually impaired and blind people navigate independently.

The National Lottery funding will be used to develop Wayfindr’s Open Standard for indoor audio navigation.

The Open Standard is a set of guidelines to help businesses make their environments and products easier for visually impaired people to use.

With the funding, Wayfindr will advance the technology by trialling it in different environments, such as train stations, shopping centres and hospitals.

It has already been trialled in London at Euston and Pimlico train stations.

Wayfindr

Managing director at Wayfindr, Florence Orban, said: “By allowing us to continue developing and rolling out the Wayfindr Open Standard, this funding will help us raise awareness and adoption of indoor audio wayfinding across the UK.”

The technology organisation is a not for profit partnership between the Royal Society for Blind Children and Ustwo, a digital product company.

By developing the technology, mobile apps for indoor navigation will immediately be accessible for vision impaired people. 

Vision impaired users will receive audio instructions through their headphones, which are triggered just ahead of obstacles or turning points, so a user can travel safely and independently.

Chief executive of the Big Lottery Fund, Dawn Austwick, said that Wayfindr is a concept that could have a huge impact on the lives of two million visually impaired people.

“The implementation of this digital tool will enable individuals to better engage with the people and places around them making them feel more connected to their community,” Ms Austwick added.

Image credit: Sophie Mutevelian 

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