BlindSquare BPS (Beacon Positioning System)
Accessibility for roads, buildings, rooms, door signs, elevators, escalators, and specific areas.
People who are blind cannot see their surroundings. They are very limited in their freedom of movement and orientation. Often, they have to rely on the help of sighted people to get from one place to another.
BlindSquare, the most widespread app for independent mobility worldwide, combines different tools thus affording independence.
Orientation on Roads and Specific Areas
BlindSquare users who are traveling on roads receive information about shops, cafés, public transportation stops etc. via speech. The visual world becomes accessible with information.
The user decides how much and what kind of information they would like to receive as a personal choice. A destination can be searched, selected, and then tracked supporting independent travel. BlindSquare will tell the user the distance and travel direction, in relation to the user's orientation, to the destination.
In an area without any named roads (e.g. on a big campus, in zoos or parks) CLS (Customized Location Services) can be defined by BlindSquare. These are GPS-points at which the user receives information depending on the user's heading. For example, if the user is facing the main entrance of a library, they will be told so and they can move in the desired direction.
Orientation in Buildings
Inside buildings the GPS-signal for navigation systems is weak and rarely usable. BlindSquare BPS (Beacon Positioning System) uses low energy Bluetooth beacons sending silent signals at entrances, intersections of hallways and other key points of interest. They are usually installed in non-visible locations behind panelling or cladding. The beacons are small Bluetooth devices with a battery life of five years or longer. They also work during power outages.
When the user gets close to a beacon, they automatically hear a tone, a message and have access to information depending on the direction they are facing. BlindSquare is designed to not give too much information by speech as to not disturb the natural sound environment, essential for persons who are blind. By shaking the phone additional, on-request information can be retrieved. Thus, the beacons could be called talking signposts. If needed, further information such as opening hours can be issued. The beacons can also be attached to vehicles.
Door Signs and Miscellaneous Information in Buildings
Door signs can be equipped with BlindSquare QR-codes which can be scanned and read by smartphones without the user needing to know the QR-codes' exact position. This allows BlindSquare to issue room numbers and any desired information connected to the QR-code (e.g. whose office is this, which department does it belong to, what are the opening hours). The information can be assigned dynamically to the QR-code, thus allowing the QR-codes to store information subject to change, such as occupant(s) or timetables, without the need to replace physical signage.
Elevators and Escalators by KONE
KONE introduced the new DX class elevators in 2019 which allows communication with BlindSquare through secure API. KONE has more than 1.3 million elevators and escalators in service worldwide. Furthermore, KONE also manufactures automatic doors providing end to end solutions in the building. New and existing KONE elevators can be refitted with innovative solutions.
BlindSquare can inform the user whether there is a KONE elevator around which can be operated via app in the vicinity. The elevators can be called through the BlindSquare app, by voice or touch. BlindSquare will provide information about the elevator and when it arrives, the user can pre-select the destination floor so the app can advise of the approach to the preselected floor, as well as destination arrival. With optional packages, additional information can be provided on exit, in order to illuminate the path to a destination, with further information.
BlindSquare is a comprehensive solution which leads users on roads, specific areas, inside of buildings via lifts and escalators all the way to doors. Public transport services and building owners can opt to install a system in such a way that will not cost the user anything. BlindSquare has access to about 120 million points of interest such as shops and bus stops. The app is available in 26 languages and is used by blind and visually impaired users in over 150 countries. BlindSquare can easily be combined with tactile guidance systems and braille labels. With BlindSquare building owners have a flexible system which can be automated and customised at relatively low costs.
Installation of BlindSquare
Drager & Lienert (DL) is BlindSquare's master distributor in Europe. We are available to assist with inquires across Europe and beyond. We are happy to advise you directly or refer you to a local agent. Some installations can be done remotely. We are available to complete a site-review using plans or site-visit to decide on the best solution with you.