Wayfindr's impressive vision-impaired navigation solution got the attention from a tech giant looking to make a positive change for people living with disabilities.
On Wednesday, Wayfindr announced that it has received a $1 million grant from Google's philanthropic's division, Google.org. The grant was given as part of Google.org's Impact Challenge to solve issues that affect those with disabilities. The grant will help Wayfindr launch a test in London's busy Euston station, which averages 3.4 million commuters per month.
The way Wayfindr's technology works is the company places Bluetooth beacons in popular places. Those tiny hubs sync with smartphones, and via an app, visually-impaired commuters could receive audio-based navigational instructions to reach their desired destinations.
Once a vision-impaired person tells the app where they want to travel to, the app will search for the nearest beacon to connect to in order to properly guide them. Therefore, one can imagine that the more Bluetooth beacons, the better the experience, but that will take money for product and the overall setup.
The interesting part of all this is Wayfindr doesn't have an app, according to Engadget. It's providing the solution, inviting an app developer — especially one with experience in mapping indoor spaces — to come in and complement its technology.
"Mapping indoor spaces needs to be consistent," Wayfindr CEO Umesh Pandya told Engadget.
Wayfindr is also working on this project with RLSB, a London-based charity for the vision-impaired. In addition to Google, the company is also actively partnering with the Transport for London.