The Alexandra Institute // Cases // Audiobeacons




Now blind people can find their way with audiobeacons

Blindness can make it difficult to navigate in new surroundings. The Alexandra Institute has worked on a solution together with Living IT Lab and The Institute for the Blind and Partially Sighted. And the answer is beacons. Audiobeacons.

For blind or visually impaired people, it can be a challenge to find their way from A to B - or just to find a toilet. The Institute for the Blind and Partially Sighted (IBOS), the Danish Association of the Blind, the company Bagvendt and Living IT Lab have joined forces to create a comprehensive solution that can help blind and visually impaired people to become more self-reliant and to know their way around in unfamiliar buildings by use of Bluetooth beacon technology and smartphones.

The solution is a simple Bluetooth chip with a small battery transmitting an ID that can be picked up and read by our mobile phones. The possibilities of these small iBeacons are many, in particular as their use and the technology are being further developed.

The iBeacons’ ID has a particular format, and a smartphone always reads this ID in the same way. The phone asks via an app what is to happen next. It is possible to detect - or hack this ID, if you like, and therefore there are both security and ethical issues associated with the small wonder.

The small chip uses only little energy, and its battery life is constantly increasing. In addition, you can make it reduce speed when no one is nearby - for example in supermarkets, which are closed to customers at night. In the daytime, they can wake up and help customers find jam, special offers or to pay with a swipe.

  • A Bluetooth Low Energy transmitter which can be automatically detected by a phone nearby
  • The phone registrates if you are in an iBeacon zone
  • iBeacons are the Apple version of Bluetooth Low Energy
  • Signal strength – up to at most 70 m range before the tag appears the first time
  • Low energy consumption
  • New smartphones coming on the market have been fine-tuned to this technology
  • Both indoor and outdoor, where they can complement high power consumption of GPS - for example at large events with communication without GPS
  • Stuff on the way, which enables the tag be incorporated in a bracelet, necklace etc.
  • Rumours that Crome will support iBeacons, so you can avoid apps
  • Costs about 300 Dkr
  • Android and IOS Java, objectiveC
  • Hardware: the market overflows with producers, application and integration
  • Software: gradually better experience for the users, more specialised platforms.

Do you want to know more about the potential of the Beacon technology?
Contact us!

Senior Cyber-Physical Specialist
Data Science and Engineering Lab
+45 61 69 52 47
Profilbillede af Alexandre Alapetite See profile