The official launch of a free indoor navigation app in North Bay this afternoon should lead to more barrier-free buildings.
Jeff Godfrey, the lead software developer with Y4U Technologies Inc. says the company is innovating on existing building accessibility to fill the need for better indoor navigation systems to contribute to a barrier-free Canada.
"By using the latest architectural technologies, combined with our custom software, we are able to provide users with step by step navigation throughout buildings cost-effectively. The system is intended to empower all visitors (including the visually-impaired) by helping them navigate indoor environments," says Godfrey.
The Accessibuild app is free to users but the cost is carried by building owners. The Accessibuild System helps visually-impaired people access all public areas of a building without assistance.
See a quick demo here.
"You would be within a short range of the building and it would tell you that this building is accessible-abled," Godfrey told CKAT. "They can set where they want to go in the building and navigate around it.
"Within the app, there is a directory that you can swipe through to find the office you want to be in. You can also search by voice recognition."
The software then creates a path for you to get there.
The application works by using accurate 3D Building Information Models generated with the latest architectural technology. The model can then be loaded into the Accessibuild app on the user's mobile device (Android and iOS) along with the rest of their existing building models.
Users can then use the application to navigate the building and find points of interest according to their personal needs and preferences.
Brian Bibeau is chair of North Bay's Municipal Accessibility Advisory Committee and he says it will give disabled people more mobility and independence.
"If I see this at the mall or bus terminal it would give you the ability to navigate on your own without having someone assist you. This is what we've been looking for for years. I can use a GPS app to get me to the building, but once I get there I'm on my own. Now I can go anywhere in the building."