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Intel and GoodMaps Collaborate to Create Fully Accessible Mapping Software

by Jaime Rodriguez, RDPFS Intern

In late December 2021, Intel, the world’s largest semiconductor chip manufacturer, announced its collaboration with GoodMaps, a fully accessible turn-by-turn GPS app, to create high-quality indoor mapping technology. Both companies laud the precision accuracy of their technology, which uses image recognition and light detection and ranging (LiDAR), to help users navigate to within a few feet of their target destination. The project is part of Intel’s RISE Technology Initiative (IRTI) to create technological solutions that address societal issues. Intel’s precision robotics technology has a practical application for users with visual impairments, and testers of the technology have expressed appreciation that the technology can understand the differences between objects in a room, like tables and chairs in a classroom. Engineers are working on future updates that would help users identify where sounds originate from in their immediate environment using a room’s general acoustics. Intel’s director of accessibility, Darryl Adams, who has visual impairments, explained that “’We are applying our reach, scale, and resources to enable everyone—including people with disabilities—to capitalize more fully on the power of digital technology.’” It is Intel’s goal to make the world “’a better place’” and to ensure that everyone can participate in the world’s increasingly digital future. They hope that their project will make mapping software more precise, more dependable, and most important, more accessible for users. For more information, read the Forbes article, “Intel, GoodMaps Collaborate On Mapping Software Project To Make Indoor Navigation More Accessible”. And for more information about GoodMaps, check out the GoodMaps website.