Being blind is definitely no fun at all, as losing one’s sight could prove to be a huge inconvenience when it comes to getting around. San Francisco International Airport (SFO) intends to make life easier for blind travelers by introducing a new pilot program in 2014 which could assist them in their navigation throughout the terminal, all with the assistance of beacon technology.
The beacons are actually extremely small sensors, where they will see action in Terminal 2, which happens to be one of SFO’s newest terminals. Apart from that, should this particular test run be extremely effective, it could see potential expansion to other terminals some time down the road. This particular initiative is tipped to kick off later this fall .
SFO will be working alongside Austrian-based indoor positioning and tech company Indoo.rs alongside the Lighthouse for the Blind so that these beacons will be able to be installed throughout Terminal 2. They cost approximately $20 a pop to install, and will run on Bluetooth technology to remain connected, synchronizing with a smartphone app that users will be able to refer to with each step that they take. So far, 300 beacons have been installed, and are tipped to last for a good four years. The app will then read the direction to take for users, ensuring that they can get around without a guide dog or someone to help them out.