GeorgiePhone is an app to guide visually impaired people around outside spaces is seeking help to expand capabilities. Prem Moti, Roger Wilson-Hind and Monique Seth of Conigital are working with the Georgiephone App founded by a blind man to help visually impaired people navigate outdoor spaces is seeking a test-bed public building to develop the technology for indoors.
The GeorgiePhone app which provides talking and text services to help people move around outdoors and receive information such as bus timetables.
Its founder Roger Wilson-Hind, who has been blind since birth, now wants to expand the technology’s capabilities by moving it inside so visually impaired people can negotiate busy places like shopping centres and hospitals.
He said: “The GeorgiePhone app has received over 10,000 downloads.
“It enables outdoor navigation for the visually impaired via their smartphone, without needing the assistance of a guide. It has revolutionised my daily life, giving me the independence to travel, receive train and bus timetable information and order taxis.
“But once I get to my destination that’s where the guidance currently stops.
“The technology urgently needs to be put in place to enable the visually impaired to reach the correct department in a hospital, visit a chosen shop within a shopping centre or even an area of interest within a library or department store. This is what a smart city should be about.”
Conigital is developing the technology which it says can map the interior of any building to an accuracy of 50cm and also include menus of participating restaurants.
Sensors installed in a building can also provide management data on footfall by relaying information from all smartphone geolocation tracking systems.
It now wants to work with the facilities managers of large public buildings to put this in place so it can tested.
Conigital is one of the tech start-ups currently enrolled on Innovation Birmingham Campus’ Entrepreneurs for the Future programme which offers mentoring, advice and networking opportunities as well as free office space and meeting rooms.
Monique Seth has joined the business as healthcare director after introducing sensor technology within his care homes which he says has reduced fall rates and other incidents by more than 50 per cent. Prem Moti is also working with the company as technical director, having previously been part of the team that created the technology to install a wireless network on the London Underground which is where the conceptual idea for indoor navigation came from. The team recently won a pitching competition at Opportunity Knocks – an initiative jointly run by KPMG and NatWest Bank’s Entrepreneurial Spark programme and working with these partners to help support their long term aims.