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I am passionate about:
accessibility and enabling people with impairments to have the same opportunities as anyone else
A little known fact about me is:
Pursuing a project with many partners around assisted transport, with the ultimate aim of creating a universal accessibility layer for all forms of transport. Nothing like having an ambitious goal eh!
Show my name on the attendees list for events I am attending:
"Produtive failures pave the road to success, provided you're prepared to learn!"
Married to Mary, three teenage children, living in rural Mayo in the west of Ireland, although originally born and bred in Dublin. Masters in Strategy, worked in the public, semi-state and private sector, have never strayed very far from ICT, evangelistic (is that a word?) about the potential for tech to finally create a level playing field for many people with all sorts of impairments. Stunned to see what is now possible, with ubiquitous technology like smart phones and still want to pursue a PhD on assistive technology delivery , if you know a good sponsor who will work remotely ;0)
This project bears comparison with the WayFindr BLE beacon project currently on trial in London (with Google funding) and run by the Royal Society for Blind Children. As much as I would like to see it succeed for obvious reasons, there are sustainability issues around the use of BLE Beacons. I met with the project leads in London recently and whilst they have made progress, there are still substantial challenges ahead. For starters, the BLE beacons batteries do eventually run out and as such they have to be hard wired into the electrical systems. That's expensive. Retrofitting enough beacons for its to be useful looks prohibitively expensive. Moreover, recently trials in London has shown that there are still shortcoming with Wayfindr in regard to its accuracy around navigation and that is a critical issue around transport in an urban setting.
I can't speak for the students Mitul as I am not a faculty member. They are working to a brief supplied by me under my role as a service design partner in www.rehab.ie The MEIID is a nice option as it the time-stamping but I still think that the people who are most motivated to building and maintaining an accurate map will be the users. There's been a number of attempts to solve internal building navigation with BLE beacons and similar, but all have foundered. Wayfindr in the UK is a project that is well funded (Google grant) and seems to be making some progress - worth keeping an eye on it.
I'm working on a similar project with some students in IT Sligo currently, so its nice to see people looking at the same issue. Like the idea of Waze however there are a host of legal issues that may make it unworkable, for example if people report problems with access to competitors premises and businesses (sadly we do have to think about how something can be abused!). There is a solution which is to have quality assured and vetted people (often with disabilities themselves) uploading the information and maintaining it accurately...
There are a number of way finder or route finder initiatives out there currently (Wayfindr in the UK being a good example) which are focused on the needs of one specific cohort, e.g. people with visual impairments.
Navigation indoors is exceptionally difficult and problematic, even in 4G enabled high tech environments. Be happy to discuss our project with you if you are interested,