Vision Through Digital Communications
- Learning Objectives
- GPS And Way Finding
- Introduction To BlindSquare
- Learning To Use BlindSquare
- Youtube Video BlindSquare Lessons
- Take Action with BlindSquare
Learning ObjectivesEmerging GPS, Way Finding and Crowd-Sourcing technologies are changing our lives, and giving independence and confidence to persons with vision loss. We are crossing a new frontier in the evolution of computing and entering the era of cognitive systems. scientists and engineers around the world are pushing the boundaries of science and technology to create machines that sense, learn, reason, and interact with people in new ways to provide insight and advice. Read on to learn how BlindSquare and iBeacon services can expand your world with new possibilities. Explore the new frontier through digital communications, and enjoy the freedom of travel as a participant in an increasingly mobile society.
Know where you are, know where you're going!
travel with confidence!
- The power of information and knowledge (dignity)
- The power of way finding and mobile technology skills (independence)
- The freedom in independent and confident travels (integration)
- The joy and rewards in being a community participant (equality)
GPS And Way Finding
What Is GPS?The Global Positioning System (GPS) is a satellite-based locating and navigating utility that determines a user's precise latitude, longitude and altitude by tracking signals from satellites. The GPS is a satellite-based navigation system, that was put in place by the U.S. Department of Defense. The GPS constellation of satellites was declared operational in late 1995 and consists of 24 satellites orbiting Earth to provide worldwide coverage, 24 hours a day, free of charge. GPS satellites send two signals: a carrier and a pseudo-random code. The signals are timed by an atomic clock in the satellite, and the GPS receiver generates a matching code timed by its own synchronized clock. The time it takes for the signals to reach the receiver indicates how far away the satellite is. This calculation is generally performed using the pseudo-random code signal, but for better precision, the carrier signal can be used instead. To make position calculations, GPS receivers use signals from four or more GPS satellites. The first three satellites are used to triangulate a position. The fourth is used to improve the position's accuracy by factoring in the time offset between the satellite system's clock and the GPS receiver's clock.
Our ability to use GPS so far is limited by the relatively poor connection to the satellite feeds when we are indoors in buildings, homes, or behind anything that could obstruct the GPS connection. However with the investment and development in a new satellite network called Galileo which should be completed in the near future, these problems should be eliminated drastically. Like the Internet, GPS is an essential element of the global information infrastructure. The free, open, and dependable nature of GPS has led to the development of hundreds of applications affecting every aspect of modern life.
Who Uses GPS?These days doctors, scientists, farmers, soldiers, pilots, hikers, delivery drivers, sailors, fishermen, dispatchers, athletes, and people from many other walks of life are using GPS systems in ways that make their work more productive, safer, and easier. Your imagination is the only limitation to the possibilities of global positioning system (GPS) technologies. GPS systems are extremely versatile and can be found in almost any industry sector; on land, at sea and in the air. Basically, GPS is usable everywhere except where it's impossible to receive the signal, such as inside most buildings, in caves and other subterranean locations, and underwater.
Global positioning system applications generally fall into 5 major categories:
- Location - determining a position
- Navigation - getting from one location to another
- Tracking - monitoring object or personal movement
- Mapping - creating maps of the world
- Timing - bringing precise timing to the world
How Is BlindSquare Changing Lives?The blend of new digital signals and the tools to process them create new opportunities for us to rethink the way we approach traditional problems. GeoIntelligent programs can create a new framework for collecting data and shape accessibility strategies in a way that increase confidence and independence. The parallel for the blind community is obvious, and the Blindsquare app is transforming lives through location intelligence. BlindSquare takes advantage of the rapidly growing GeoSpacing data analysis system services, and is pioneering accessible GPS navigation on iOS devices using a haptic interface with a dynamic range of user interactions. It all started in May 2012 in Helsinki Finland with The blind leading the seeing, no problem!
- Smithsonian: Who Uses Satellite Navigation
- 12 Practical Uses of GPS for Everyday People
- 10 Unconventional Uses for GPS: HowStuffWorks
- Wayfind G3ICT White Paper: Accelerating the adoption of accessible indoor audio navigation with a standard user interface
- What Is BlindSquare
Introduction To BlindSquare
BlindSquare is the World's Most Popular accessible GPS application developed for the blind and visually impaired. It describes the environment, announces points of interest, and street intersections as you travel. In conjunction with free, third-party navigation apps it is a powerful solution providing most of the information blind and visually impaired people need to travel independently.
The BlindSquare app is a new solution that combines the latest technology to help the blind with their daily lives. It has been developed in collaboration with blind people and carefully field tested. BlindSquare, an accessible GPS app, is capable of describing the immediate environment and announcing location information, and is currently used in more than 150 countries, by more than 20,000 people, in about 25 different languages. BlindSquare integrates social media services like FourSquare data with Apple's native VoiceOver technology to create a location-based virtual map through sound. Users can enhance the application with recommended accessories; such as braille displays and the Aftershokz bone conduction head set, which leaves users' ears open to natural sounds. When the app is enabled, it reads addresses, street names and surrounding locations aloud, and directions are available on demand. Note, the BlindSq Event app, a free iOS app in Apple store, is a fully functioning BlindSquare service, but only works at the venue time and location of special events, and when you select the demo mode the app will simulate a location for you. It will behave as if you were at the simulated location and you will be able to try many of its features.
The BlindSquare was conceptualized and created in 2012 by Finland-based Ilkka Pirttimaa, and he calls it a mashup of GPS technology; speech synthesis, crowd sourced data through FourSquare and augmented reality with audio.
- Has been developed and tested in close cooperation with blind and visually impaired users.
- Is a solution that takes advantage of the latest smart phone features.
- Is pioneering with user interfaces like braille displays and Aftershokz Bluetooth headset.
- Works in conjunction with other navigation apps like Navigon, TomTom, the free Google Maps, and the iOS Maps app installed on the iOS-device.
- Integrates travel services like UBER and Transit iOS apps.
- Is extending the reach of the white cane with iBeacon and QR code technology guidance.
- Is providing innovative techniques for orientation and mobility instruction.
- BlindSq Event, by MIPSoft, is a free app available on the Itunes stor
- BlindSquare, by MIPSoft, is a GPS app available on the iTunes Store
- Outdoor Navigation: Customized Location Information Service (CLIS)
- Indoor Navigation: Beacon Positioning Service (BPS)
- CNIB ShopTalk: Demonstrating the use of beacons - YouTube
- BlindSquare at the ITIS mall in Helsinki Finland - YouTube
- Wellington New Zealand, BlindSquare Enabled - YouTube
- Wayfind, London Underground transit digital navigation - Youtube
- Painting a picture of the world through sound - YouTube
Learning To Use BlindSquare
Session 1: Getting StartedWhen you start the BlindSquare app, it will start by telling you your current location and some interesting places and street names around you. You may hear two voices speaking at the same time; the iOS VoiceOver and the BlindSquare voice for automatic announcements. The main screen of BlindSquare is divided into three sections. At the top you will find seven buttons. From left to right they are Search, Add Place, Tools, Foursquare, Other, Filter Announcements, and Mute Speech. Below these buttons you will find the radius slider. The largest part of the screen is taken up by a list of search categories, where different interests can be searched. Along the bottom of the screen are four Buttons, left to right; Voice Commands, BlindSquare Help, Heading/Accuracy/Speed, and Sleep Mode. Just above these Buttons is the Local Info Button. Refer to the BlindSquare User Guide for more information.
Important User Information:
- Speech Output:
The iOS VoiceOver usage is supported, but BlindSquare is also self-voicing. the app includes additional high quality speech synthesis options by Acapela Text-To-Speech from Acapela Group. Using BlindSquare, with VoiceOver, in conjunction with a third-party GPS app providing turn-by-turn directions will add yet another voice to the mix. It is recommended that you use different voices for VoiceOver and BlindSquare so you have an easier time knowing if you are hearing a message from BlindSquare or VoiceOver. You can have VoiceOver speak with a female voice and BlindSquare with a male one, or vice versa. If you need more information you can use the main menu search categories to search and select places near by. It is important to be aware that if streets or places are new, they may not yet be available in the network services. Note, when using a GPS routing app, you might want to turn Voiceover off as you will have three different voices talking to you; Blindsquare, GPS, and VoiceOver. If you would like to interrupt BlindSquare announcements, double-tap anywhere on the screen with two fingers while it is speaking.
- GPS Radius:
BlindSquare provides a lot of information, and it is important to limit the search radius and search categories around you. By changing the Radius, you can limit the area distance around you, and by changing the Filter Announcements of streets and places, you can limit the amount of information coming at you.
- Power Usage:
Since the BlindSquare app obtains data in realtime from the FourSquare services and the Open Street Map database, it is constantly communicating with network services. A Flat rate, or very good, smart phone data plan is highly recommended. Also, continued use of GPS running in the background can dramatically decrease battery life. It is recommended that you travel with a back up battery charger for your phone.
- Traveling Safely:
While Blindsquare is incredibly accurate, it is essential to have basic orientation mobility skills to complement the information. That is, if your signal strength is low, or there is signal interference, your device may be less accurate, and you will still need to use environmental cues with problem solving skills when using Blindsquare. BlindSquare uses the clock face and compass directions, but it is important to remember that these signals are being read from the direction your device is pointing. So, if your body is facing twelve o'clock, but your device is not pointing straight ahead, you are going to get an inaccurate reading. Hold your device with the screen facing you, while walking, to ensure it is pointing straight ahead. To obtain additional information, when available, move your phone up and down quickly so as not to change the pointing direction. You may also want to use bone conducting head phones so that you are able to maintain environmental awareness and hear traffic as you are traveling.
Session 2: Setting User Preferences
- On the Main Menu perform a single finger double tap on the Other Button, at the top of the screen.
- Then, Perform a single finger double tap on the Settings Button.
- Enable BlindSquare help Button.
- Track destination automatically on entire route Button.
- Shake gesture settings Button.
- Audio menu settings Button.
- Intersection settings announcement distance Button.
- Automatic sleep time Button.
- Direction style Button.
- Distance units Button.
- Select voice and language Button.
- Speech rate Adjustable.
- Volume Adjustable.
- BlindSquare sounds Button.
- Delete unused voices Button.
- Bluetooth settings Button.
- Restore my places Button.
- Help Button.
Session 3: Outdoor GPS NavigationAs more blind people travel for business and leisure, the use of GPS among the blind community will increase. Typically, navigation with automatic positioning is normally used as a client-based application. This means that the position is determined directly on the smartphone of the user and thus requires an app. Navigation software uses maps to pinpoint a person in the context of surrounding geographical references. Unfortunately maps are not always accurate. Changes frequently occur to structures, streets, curbs, and objects on the ground. Where no mailbox was on the corner yesterday, one appears today. This type of information is not updated in the public map database. Thus a GPS system cannot guarantee safety for a blind traveler; only good mobility training and independent traveling skill can. However, no doubt anyone with good basic travel skills can benefit from the advancement of GPS technology. GPS accuracy and Geographical Information Systems, are adapted to vehicle navigation, and fail in assisting pedestrian navigation, especially for the Blind. Navigon and TomTom both offer mobile apps, that perform similarly to their standalone portable units and are accessible, but are not blindness aware.
After generations of upgrades, mobile phones today have an increasing variety of sensors, such as accelerometers, gyroscopes, electronic compasses, barometers, etc; Which BlindSquare takes advantage of, so as to provide as much information as possible. GPS coordinates, latitude and longitude, provide a position location, but are not user-friendly and are easy to mix up. That is, GPS coordinates are hard for people to remember, and do not necessarily describe a building's entrance. Imprecise street addresses can be challenging to describe, find, and navigate to; A street address might be defined as the centre of a building rather than an actual entrance. Some buildings have multiple entrances, and places like coffee shops, stores and venues often share names. What3Words claims to have sectioned the planet into sections three meters square, and to have given each section a three-word designator. This facilitates navigation to places where addressing might not be very precise. To solve this issue as well as the difficulty in communicating location, BlindSquare has integrated the new What3Words grid system into the app. People can search for or input three word addresses and get directions to an exact three meter by three meter square they need to make their way to. They can also ask the app to announce their current three word address that they can then easily share with anyone they like. Learn more about the "What3Words" location system, or Find out how BlindSquare uses What3Words in this YouTube video.
Organizations can take advantage of the BlindSquare power by integrating the MIPsoft navigational information services into their enterprise infrastructure. The Customized Location Information Service (CLS), developed by MIPsoft, allows organizations to provide customized information about their premises to blind and low vision guests. Clients, students, or staff who use an iOS-device running BlindSquare or BlindSq Event can have immediate navigational information about the organization premises. Through a simple online interface, organizations can enter GPS coordinates of points of interest and descriptions of these points. BlindSquare can retrieve this information as soon as it is entered, or updated, and will read it out to the BlindSquare user. The CLIS can provide detailed information about a street intersection, and information about the surrounding environment. Iowa State University, Discovering Campus Through a Different Lens employs CLS to notify blind students of entrances of buildings, steps, or temporary construction work, when they approach an entrance or an obstacle. If a familiar route is blocked due to road works, it is possible to suggest an alternative route to the user.
BlindSquare users can create their own digital bread crumb trails, and share it with other BlindSquare users, across university and college campuses, across a large mall parking lot, through a transit service centre, and around a sailing club dock facility. Users can create and share landmarks for objects like mailboxes, art sculptures, benches, doorways, stairways, and much more. These are only some examples where BlindSquare is being used.
Session 4: Indoor Beacon NavigationIf your business is people-oriented, sooner or later it will have to adapt in order to be where your customers are: in their smartphones! One of the innovative technologies that connect your business with people is the Bluetooth beacon. A beacon is a small, electronic device that broadcasts low energy bluetooth radio signals That can be received by any smart device which is in range and equipped with Bluetooth. Beacons are equipped with a coin size battery, and the smart device does not need to pair with beacons to be able to receive the radio signal. The Beacon simply transmits its ID, and the application running on the smart phone uses this ID to display the appropriate data to the user. Note, Beacons themselves do not use the Internet, as they only transmit their unique ID using wireless Bluetooth Smart technology, to The receiving device; So it is your smartphone, not the Beacon that will need Internet connectivity. Beacons are inexpensive, easy to use, install, and maintain. Sharing information related to a specific place or object is one of the most popular and simple Beacon functionalities. You can use beacons to share useful information about your product or service with people passing by; Such as, send an agenda, an event notice, or a restaurant menu directly to customers nearby. Beacons can improve customer experience by sending a welcome greeting message as people enter the venue. Way finding technology is being installed permanently worldwide in malls, museums, airports, and subways. Learn more about Beacon use cases, or Watch the Youtube Beacon proximity explained.
Navigating inside of public buildings (Stations, malls, office buildings) poses different challenges to blind and partially sighted people than travelling in the streets. Outside, visually impaired people often find more landmarks (pavement, tactile paving, different echoes of walls, trees, bushes, fences, audible traffic lights) than are available inside of buildings. Inside office buildings, doors and corridors are similar. In shopping malls, paths are often blocked by signs or decoration, constant background music masks echoes, and other audible clues are lacking. Printed signs are inaccessible to blind individuals. GPS reception generally is too poor to compensate these difficulties using smartphones.
Quick Response Codes (QRC) can provide a great deal more information for a specific location. Such as restaurant menus, physical layout of washrooms and other public spaces, and office and mall directories.
BlindSquare Beacon Responses:
- When moving into the Beacon range, BlindSquare speaks the Primary Short Message, and then Short Message of facing direction.
- If the Short Message if followed by a tone, shaking the iPhone will cause BlindSquare to speak the Long Message of that direction.
- If the Short Message if followed by a tone, standing still does not produce any message output.
- If the Short Message is not followed by a tone, shaking the iPhone will cause BlindSquare to speak the Primary Short Message. Note, if the Primary Short Message is followed by a tone, shaking the iPhone again will cause BlindSquare to speak the Primary Long Message.
- When moving into the Beacon range, but outside of the Proximity distance, shaking the iPhone causes BlindSquare to speak "Nearest beacon is" followed by the Primary Short Message, and if there is a tone shaking the iPhone will cause BlindSquare to speak the Primary Long Message.
- When turning the iPhone to another direction, BlindSquare speaks the Short Message of that direction.
- If the Short Message is followed by a tone, shaking the iPhone will cause BlindSquare to speak the Long Message for that direction.
- If the Short Message is not followed by a tone, shaking the iPhone will cause BlindSquare to speak the Primary Short Message. Note, if the Primary Short Message is followed by a tone, shaking the iPhone again will cause BlindSquare to speak the Primary Long Message.
- After the Short Message, of the current facing direction followed by a tone or no tone, wait several seconds and then shake the iPhone to hear BlindSquare speak the Primary Short Message followed by each directional short Message starting with North, East, South, West.
- Note, after each directional Short Message a tone may sound (Example: after East), and if you shake the iPhone at that moment, BlindSquare completes speaking the Short Message for the remaining directions followed by the Long Message for the directional message (Example: East) for which the iPhone was shaken.
- Note, after each directional Short Message a tone may sound (Example: after East and after South), and if you shake the iPhone at that moment, BlindSquare completes speaking the Short Message for the remaining directions followed by the Long Message for the directional message (Example: East and then South) for which the iPhone was shaken.
Note, the result for this step is unpredictable, as it depends upon how steady your hand is. That is, a steady hand will produce the expected result, but most of the time BlindSquare will not finish the directional Short Messages and just start all over again with the North Short Message or may just speak the Short Message of the currently facing direction.
Also, sometimes, if you attempt this step, and then wait several secontds, turn the iPhone in any direction to hear the Short Message but shaking the iPhone at that point BlindSquare will say "No beacons detected near by". If you wait several seconds, or move out of the Beacon range and then back in, the BlindSquare response is as expected with proper Beacon messages.
- Moving out of the Beacon range and then shaking the iPhone, BlindSquare will say "No beacons detected near by" but waiting several seconds and then shaking the iPhone BlindSquare reports Your location followed by the address.
Session 5: Connecting With Mainstream AppsBlindSquare uses a wealth of data to inform you about your environment. BlindSquare uses the Open Street Map service to find information about streets, paths, highways, intersections etc. Open Street Map is a free map of the world created and updated by its users. It works similarly to Wikipedia in that contributors use GPS-devices to record geo-coordinates and upload the resulting data to Open Street Map. BlindSquare queries FourSquare for Points Of Interest data of venues, like museums, restaurants, schools, libraries, etc. FourSquare is a location based social network. Its users can check in to venues using their smartphones or computers to report their current location to their Foursquare friends. Note, some FourSquare users add irrelevant places to FourSquare, so to ensure BlindSquare announcements are actually useful, BlindSquare will filter these places and only announce venues where at least five different users have checked in.
BlindSquare can be used in conjunction with several third-party apps. Some of them offer spoken turn-by-turn directions. Others can help you to use public transport, order a taxi, or find additional Points Of Interest. BlindSquare can run in the background so it can be used together with other GPS apps like TomTom, Navigon, and Apple Maps. This lets you use these apps to hear turn-by-turn instructions and BlindSquare's description of your environment at the same time. BlindSquare, using Foursquare and Open Street Map data, announces public and private Points Of Interest (POI), as well as street intersections, if the user is within a defined radius of these points. The BlindSquare app makes use of Foursquare's two billion check in points worldwide, to help blind pedestrians find locations on foot or while using public transportation. The 20 million+ people on Foursquare have created an incredibly detailed crowd sourced directory. The FourSquare framework allows third parties to add information on top of check in data. For example, if you check in at a restaurant, a diet related app might suggest appropriate meals, while a social app could tell you if any of your friends have eaten there, and if they left any comments.
BlindSquare supports several public transportation apps. If one of them is installed on your device, you can look up schedules and services at your current location to a destination. To look up a connection to your destination, search for your destination, open its Place Summary screen, and find the Public Transport button. Double-tapping it will open a menu where you can select one of the supported public transportation apps installed on your device. When you select one of them, BlindSquare will send the coordinates of your current location and the coordinates of your destination to the app of your choice. The app will open and you can continue looking up the desired information from within the selected app. The Transit App lets you view public transport services at your current location and plan trips to other destinations. For example, Uber is a taxi service available in several countries and cities. If you register with Uber, you can order a taxi and also pay for your ride using the Uber app. If it is installed on your device, BlindSquare will display an Uber button on each Place Summary screen. If Uber is available in your area, the button will also show the cheapest available ride to the selected Place. Double-tapping the button will open a menu where you can select one of the available options. Double-tap one of them to select it. This will send information about your current location and your destination to the Uber app and open it. Now you can continue in Uber and order your taxi. Learn how to use the Transit App from within BlindSquare - AudioBoom, or Learn how BlindSquare and Uber make traveling as easy as a breeze - AudioBoom.
Session 6: BlindSquare Enterprise Infrastructure IntegrationCheck List Activities:
Hire A BlindSquare SpecialistEmerging digital technologies can be confusing, and you will want to engage a consultant to educate your staff on the power of BlindSquare, and how to implement a digital navigation system safely and efficiently. BESTA11Y consulting can walk you through the complex network of digital hardware and services to achieve your goal. Contact BESTA11Y to negociate a support contract. Technology behind iBeacon will revolutionize indoor navigation, Toronto Star, August 14, 2015.
Create An Outdoor CLS AccountObtain a MIPsoft Customized Location Service (CLS) BlindSquare client account. The CLS account gives you access to the CLS Google Sheet, and authority to manage the cloud database. CLS allows organizations the ability to deliver customized information, utilizing a GPS location, about their premises for the blind and visually impaired guests, clients, students, or staff member, that uses an iOS device running BlindSquare. With CLS data, users can receive several different messages based upon their location and proximity to the defined Landmark or GPS coordinate. CLS is a practical and low cost service. It can make any outdoors environment more accessible to blind and partially sighted individuals, be it a school or university campus, a park, an open-air museum, or any other outdoor venue. GPS Latitude and Longitude coordinates, for a Point Of Interest, can be acquired using BlindSquare built-in GPS screen while walking a route, or using Google Maps or Google Earth Pro. Learn How you can determine the Latitude and Longitude for a specific location.
Create An Indoor BPS AccountObtain a MIPsoft Beacon Positioning Service (BPS) BlindSquare client account. The BPS account gives you access to the BPS Google Sheet, and authority to manage the cloud database. Through a simple online interface, organizations can associate information with the Beacons detailing Points Of Interest, and descriptions of these locations. This information will identify the user's present location as well as options for moving in any direction. BlindSquare can retrieve this information as soon as it is updated in the BPS cloud database, and will read it out to the BlindSquare user; Such as Stairways, elevators, hallway intersections, rooms, and much more, each reinforced with identifying tones. Learn more about the Beacon Google Sheet, or Learn HOw To Install BlindSquare Beacons.
Create A QRS AccountObtain a MIPsoft Quick Response Service (QRS) BlindSquare client account. A QR Code is a machine readable optical label that literally contains encoded data. BlindSquare QR Messages, as is with all BlindSquare services, exists in the cloud. One need only update the BlindSquare QRS cloud database from anywhere, to provide current information. The BlindSquare built-in QR Code reader is designed for persons who are blind or low-vision. BlindSquare follows the industry guidelines for QR Code generation, and can read both standard QR Codes and BlindSquare QR Messages.
Purchase Bluetooth BeaconsA beacon is a small, electronic device based on Bluetooth Low Energy® which broadcasts radio signals called advertising packets. These signals can be received by any smart device which is in range and equipped with Bluetooth 4.0 such as Apple iPhone to receive BlindSquare messages. Devices do not need to 'pair' with beacons to be able to receive the advertising packets. Beacons are equipped with a single CR2477 coin battery which, can run for up to 24 months on default settings. The maximum range of the broadcast signal depends on the transmission power setting, as well as the environment devices are in as the signal can be diffracted or absorbed. Beacons simply transmit their ID, and BlindSquare uses this ID to communicate the appropriate information to the user. Learn about the Kontakt.io Beacon products and services.
Create A Kontakt.io AccountKontakt.io builds innovative technology to help organizations solve their proximity problems. Create a Kontakt.io user account on the website panel, and add authorized users as Administrators and Operators. On the Kontakt.io Web Panel go to the Devices section and click the Add Devices button, enter your Order ID in the box and click on Add Devices, to update your account with the new Beacons. An Order ID is the unique number that came with your Beacon order, which you will need so as to add your Beacons to your account. Note, Venues enable you to group and organize your beacons. A Venue is simply a group of beacons. Usually, a Venue represents a physical location where these beacons are located. It could be anything; a shelf, room, floor, or entire building. Create a Kontakt.io client account for Beacon installation.
Activate BlindSquare BeaconsThe Administration app gives you the tools you need to find, connect to, monitor, manage, and update any Kontakt.io proximity device. You can organize your iBeacons into Venue groups, change their configuration values, enable power management and security features, track battery level, and more. In order to access these features, you must first configure your Kontakt.io Web Panel user account, and assign your beacons to it. Before any of the Beacons will work with the BlindSquare app, you must activate them by synchronizing each Beacon through the Kontakt.io Smart Phone App. The Kontakt.io Admin App is available for iOS and Android from Apple App Store and Google Play Store respectively.
Team Planning SessionSchedule a team planning session to review building floor plans, and identify key placement locations for Beacons. Gather environment information for Beacon messaging. Determine which locations will require a QRS message.
Send Out NotificationsNotify building management and maintenance that Beacons will be placed on the wall in various locations for specified buildings. A map of Beacon placement locations should be created for ongoing servicing. This is to ensure maintenance staff do not remove them, thinking that the Beacons are unidentified foreign objects. The Beacons attach to the wall, or any other appropriate surface, using double sided tape or UHU putty, and can be easily removed to replace batteries. Beacons can also be attached using a provided screw slot on the underside of the beacon. The Beacons are not connected to any electrical system or wireless network system. The Beacons should be placed high overhead, or hidden behind objects, so that curious people, or souvenir seekers, do not remove them. Note, Tough Beacons, identical in use and functionality, are available for outdoor areas where weather or environmental conditions are a factor.
Prepare StakeholdersBlindSquare combines the desire to travel with trip planning, travel guidance, route simulation, road maps, transit maps, taxi hailing and much more, at the tip of the blind users fingers. BlindSquare is available on Apple iOS devices, as used by 90% of travelers who are blind. Give a user briefing session overview in using the BlindSquare app, and how stakeholders can support the expansion of the service.
Assigning ResponsibilitiesAssigning responsibility to maintaining the CLS and BPS databases, and beacon maintenance.
- Account Management: Responsible for BlindSquare service fees, staff/user training, and BlindSquare navigation system project plans.
- Database Administrator: Responsible for CLS/BPS/QRS database information updates.
- Beacon management: Responsible for Beacon hardware.
Transition ProcessExecution plan for transition from set up and planning phase to the live production environment. This may include launch activities and media news releases. Plans for any ongoing support or service needs.
Youtube Video BlindSquare Lessons
- Lesson 1: BlindSquare Main Menu - Getting familiar with the BlindSquare main menu buttons and features.
- Lesson 2: Getting BlindSquare Help - Looking at BlindSquare controls and help features.
- Lesson 3: Setting BlindSquare Radius and Search Filters - Controling the amount and type of information BlindSquare retrieves and reports to the user.
- Lesson 4: Setting BlindSquare Parameters - Setting BlindSquare values for measurements, distances, and other controls.
- Lesson 5: Setting BlindSquare language and voices - BlindSquare can speak in many different languages with selectable voice packages for the comfort of user listening.
- Lesson 6: Using BlindSquare audible tones - Enabling and selecting BlindSquare audible tones to augment speech output.
- Lesson 7: BlindSquare Look Around - When traveling use the BlindSquare Look Around feature to find streets and places near by.
- Lesson 8: BlindSquare and Uber - Using BlindSquare to connect to the Uber Ride Share from anywhere.
- Lesson 9: BlindSquare Trail Simulation - Using BlindSquare to simulate a walk on the Trans Canada Trail.
Take Action with BlindSquareAre you a BlindSquare user, or a Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialist (COMS), wanting to learn more about the power of digital navigation? Then contact me for more information!
Are you a member of an organization wanting to give your blind customers or employees the power of independent navigation freedom? Then contact me for more information!
Let's start an open dialog on building digital pathways to the future!