New app makes everyday life easier for the blind

The Swiss National Association for the Blind (SZB) is relying on a new technology to help blind and visually impaired people find their way around in everyday life. It is already being used in Spain and England.

A blind person walks through the city

"In public spaces, there is a lot of written information that is not accessible to the blind and visually impaired, such as at bus stops where you need to know that the 4 and 8 buses go past that stop," said Carol Lagrange, co-director of marketing and communications for the SZB.

The organization became aware of a technology from Spain called NaviLens. Using an app, colored codes can be read from up to five or six meters away and from different angles. The app then provides voice output of the information stored in the code.

Successful test

Since last summer, the SZB has tested the technology at three locations. The initial results are promising, Lagrange says: "The technology works and enables orientation in public spaces." She hopes that companies, especially in the public transportation sector, will become interested in this application.

Other sectors, especially hospitals, could also equip themselves with it. In Spain, museums have taken the plunge; in England, for example, they can be found on cornflakes packages to indicate the contents.

Written by: sda

Photos: Keystone

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