by Jaime Rodriguez, RDPFS Intern
A new technology being developed in metro Atlanta will allow people with vision loss to navigate public transportation more precisely, including rideshares. Good friends and business partners, Chris Webb and David Furukawa are developing the app to help people with vision loss travel independently and with more ease. Webb, an electrical engineer, wanted to help Furukawa, who lost his sight as an adult, to access his rideshare vehicles more easily using more precise geolocation. Their company, Foresight Augmented Reality, aims to do this by guiding users to their desired location or ride to within four inches using a new technology called ultrawide band technology. The GPS technology that is currently available can only guide users within 50 to 100 feet of their destination. Foresight Augmented Reality has been working with Bluetooth technology to guide people using the trolley at Georgia Tech and in city buildings in Decatur, Georgia. And recognizing that autonomous cars are likely at least half a decade away, this technology will ensure users are getting into the correct vehicles, thereby increasing their safety and confidence in traveling independently. The company is currently participating in the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Inclusive Design Challenge and is one of ten semifinalists hoping to win the prize of one million dollars with their technology. The winner of the challenge will be announced this summer. Read more about this technology in the article by WSB-TV2 Atlanta: ‘Game-changing’ tech to assist blind, visually impaired being developed in metro Atlanta. And read more about Foresight Augmented Reality and their other projects on their website, here.