Joann Becker of Perkins Solutions, which develops new technology to assist individuals with vision restrictions, has been working on a new app. Through the use of voice technology, Becker operates smartphone apps that can see what she cannot see. One app uses the smartphone’s camera to take a picture and then states what is in the picture. For example, after taking a picture of a woman in a green floral-colored shirt, the smartphone can tell the user “picture 1 is a woman in a green floral-colored shirt.”
With some help from Google maps, the app will be able to help people find the precise location of their bus stops. Becker explains that the app will give users clues that will take them to the bus stop and provide them with details on how they are going to find the bus stop. As a user is walking, he or she may notice a step and pole and to the left of that, he or she will find the bus stop.
Raizlabs is the app development company in Boston that has partnered with Perkins to create this mobile application. The leader of the iOs team at Raizlabs, Nick Bonatsakis is legally blind and knows just how beneficial the app will be for visually impaired users. He remembers walking around downtown Boston in circles not being able to find what he was looking for, hoping someone would give him clues so that he could find his desired destination.
Bonatsakis explains that when someone is at a bus stop, he or she can look around to find a clue and log it into the app. Logging clues is a good deed that may become a game with prizes in the future. Bonatsakis also point out that the app will be benefit all people, not just those who have difficulty seeing.
Greg Raiz, the founder and CEO of Raizlabs believes that the app can improve the infrastructure in Boston for the MBTA and make local navigation far more precise. The app is currently in its development phase but will make its debut to the public early next year.
Los Angeles bus accident lawyer Hussein Chahine thinks an application like this will help with the safety of pedestrians. No longer will it be the case that bus riders are sprinting to get to their bus stop. They will likely arrive at their bus stop well ahead of time and won’t have to run to get to their location to be picked up by the city or county bus.