University of Guelph installs phone app for blind and visually impaired
Navigating the University of Guelph campus will get a little easier for the visually impaired thanks to the adoption of an electronic wayfinding system called BlindSquare.
By accessing an app on their iPhones, users can identify their immediate surroundings, either outside or inside. Outdoors, the app navigates through GPS technology. Indoors, it connects to a series of beacons and quick response (QR) to let users know where they are. Scanning QR codes posted in specific areas on campus can provide users with even more specific information about location.
The first phase began in August 2018 with the university installing about 80 beacons at main entryways and junctions in core buildings around campus for a cost of about $60,000. Annual maintenance will be another $3,000. Over the next two years, the university will install more beacons with financial support from the Guelph Lions Club.