TFL's Bluetooth Beacons Help the Blind Navigate London's Underground

By: Laura McQuarrie - Apr 6, 2015
References: bbc & ibeaconsblog
Aiming to improve public accessibility, Transport for London (TFL) installed a network of Bluetooth beacons throughout the London underground. While there are many apps for navigation above ground level, the Youth Forum of the Royal London Society for Blind People (RLSB) found that the same could not be said for the underground transportation system. Now testing in London, this is being remedied with a low-energy system uses installed beacons to understand a user's location, based on the position of their mobile device. From here, navigation information is communicated to a person with audible directions. With beacons installed in all the right locations, this system is able to warn of obstacles like nearby barriers and escalators.

Although there are always TFL staff members available at all locations to assist people, this beacon navigation system gives that much more independence to people living with vision impairments.