New York City subway bets on University of Alicante technology
The Navilens system, developed by Neosistec and the UA's Mobile Vision Research Laboratory, allows visually impaired people to find their way around the New York City Subway thanks to the pilot experience installed at Jay St - Metrotech station, one of the busiest in the city.
Alicante, Wednesday, 23 October 2019
Those responsible for the New York City Subway have decided to opt for Navilens technology in their desire to make the city's transport system par excellence a more accessible means of transport. The system allows visually impaired people to be guided through the use of mobile devices and the Navilens application. The device has been developed by Neosistec and the University of Alicante Mobile Vision Research Laboratory.
For the time being and as a pilot project, the NY Metropolitan Transportation Authority has installed Navilens’ technology at Jay St - Metrotech station, one of the busiest in New York. The station has about 100 Navilens codes that allow visually impaired people to get oriented through an innovative system of visual arrows that implements augmented reality and provides information in real time just by pointing to the code.
The signage used is based on BIDI codes which, unlike other markers such as QR codes, has a powerful algorithm based on artificial vision. This code, patented worldwide and developed by the firm Neosistec and the University of Alicante can be read at 12 times farther than QR codes of equal size, with 160 degrees between the camera and the code and in just 0.03 seconds, with no need to focus or frame, which substantially improves the performance of QR codes.
This code represents a revolution in indoor guidance, where GPS signals cannot be received. This NaviLens technology helps visually impaired people access the same accurate information that signage provides to those with normal vision. Visually impaired people can listen to contextualised information when they scan every code in the station from afar and without the need to focus or frame the codes.
NaviLens GO offers navigation information inside the station, information on the station destination, real time information of transit times and the state of the network operation. Because the code adapts to existing signage, it does not require any type of energy: Its immediate scalability allows it to be the solution to make any space more accessible, such as shopping malls, museums, hotels, subway stations, hospitals and, in general, any space with conventional signage.
At present, Navilens technology offers accessibility to the University of Alicante Social Sciences building, where it was implemented a few months ago as a pilot experience. It has also been installed in the buses of the firm Vectalia, in Alicante, which already has a large number of stops using these codes.
The New York subway is not the first one to install Navilens technology. The device has already been successfully tested in Barcelona's underground transport system, as well as in its bus fleet.