Researchers develop mobile app for blind bus riders

Researchers at the University of Washington are building a mobile application to help blind transit riders access bus stops. The app will tell passengers where the bus stop is located and describe its physical characteristics (e.g., number of trees, benches, and trash cans).  When a user taps the screen, the app will read the information out loud. The developers are relying on crowdsourcing to collect information about each bus stop. “This app is going to be a huge asset for independent travel,” said David Egan, a blind bus rider who tested the app. “It’s quick, mainstream, user friendly and, above all, totally accessible. Because of crowdsourcing, the information is current, reflecting any changes to the surroundings with respect to any particular stop location.” An iPhone version is expected early next year. Link to full story in KING5.

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