by Jaime Rodriguez
Wayfinding technology has come a long way in recent years, becoming a priority for companies such as Right-Hear. Gil Elgrably and Idan Meir, who established the company in 2015, found inspiration while working on a project for a shopping-related startup. They discovered indoor micro-positioning technology which provided coupons in precise locations within stores. Elgrably and Meir mused about how this technology might benefit individuals who are visually impaired and those with orientation challenges. Right-Hear went public in 2016, making more than 800 venues fully accessible. The company noted that they are adding new places to their network every day, providing services in more than 26 languages. Wayfinding, which can include audio aids, smells, or tactile elements (such as braille), helps people with vision loss navigate their environment. With Right-Hear, users can navigate virtually, in real time. GPS apps that rely on satellite positioning for wayfinding are generally unable to assist users inside a building. Right-Hear fills the gap with indoor positioning technology, with accompanying audio assistance, allowing users to have more independence with on-hand assistance when needed. The technology works by connecting to subtle beacons stationed in key locations around hundreds of participating venues in various countries. “Our work gives people who are blind and visually impaired more independence, empowering them to explore indoor locations with confidence, safety and accuracy. As more and more businesses and organizations embrace indoor orientation technology, the more accessible the world will become,” stated Chen Katz of Right-hear in a blog post (found here). For more information, please check out the Right-Hear website. If you are interested in using the Right-Hear app, you may download it free of charge for iOs in the Apple App store, or for Android in the Google Play store.