The Polish capital has won € 1 million in Bloomberg Philanthropies' 2014 Mayors Challenge to develop a network that will help blind and visually impaired people travel around the city.
The planned system would see thousands of beacons installed across the city that would communicate with users through mobile apps. This would allow users to navigate the city more independently and become more self-sufficient.
A similar pilot programme in Stockholm (Sweden) was trialled with over 200 visually impaired residents several years ago. This demonstrated that such systems could help people with impaired vision to get around and to more easily access services and employment.
Such systems are already in operation on public transport in Vienna (Austria) and Bydgoszcz and Łódź (Poland) where people with visual impairments are given electronic remotes which communicate with devices on board vehicles. This informs a user of the number and direction in which the vehicle is travelling.
In Prague (Czech Republic) vehicles are fitted with a similar system which alerts the driver that a person with a visual impairment wishes to board the bus so that they can offer assistance.
For more information on the Bloomberg Philanthropies' 2014 Mayors Challenge visitmayorschallenge.bloomberg.org.
Photo: Adrian Grycuk, Wikimedia Commons