Visor, the accessible wayfinding solution for passengers with sight loss, has been named the winner of the 2023 Automation & Self-Service Awards in Accessibility at the Self-Service Innovation Summit in Miami, Florida, honoring the most innovative solutions for adapting to the new normalcy of COVID-19 and its aftermath.
The Automation & Self-Service Awards recognize exceptional innovations that create great user experiences and boost business effectiveness in seven categories: Best Use of AI, Vending, Kiosk, Robotics, Accessibility, Best Mobile Solution, and Influencer of the Year. Cherryh Cansler, VP of events for Networld Media Group, and Dave Wurm, chief sales officer at Networld Media Group, producer of the summit, presented the award winners.
As the winner in the Accessibility category, Visor represents the future of transportation by enabling passengers with sight loss to have greater independence while using public transportation, providing easy access and personalized information that makes travel more comfortable and reassuring for everyone.
Visor is more than just a technological solution; it is a symbol of hope for millions of passengers with sight loss addressing the challenges in navigating while traveling. These passengers have long struggled with traditional signage and therefore cannot be fully independent in unfamiliar environments.
Our vision for Visor was to address these challenges and transform transportation infrastructure into an accessible and inclusive environment. Visor provides contextual guidance to travelers, helping make transit facilities fully accessible, and allowing us to build transportation systems which can be enjoyed by all.
The solution, developed by GoMedia in partnership with the Royal Institute of Blind People (RNIB), leverages NaviLens BIDI codes and GoMedia’s cloud-based, passenger information system to display directions in the NaviLens and NaviLens GO apps.
“I am deeply honored to accept the 2023 Automation & Self-Service Award in the Accessibility Category for our groundbreaking innovation, Visor,” said Roger Matthews, Chief Commercial Officer. “Our journey to this award has been one of perseverance and dedication, and we would like to extend our heartfelt gratitude to our partners for their unwavering support and commitment to realizing our vision.”
Visor is the first and only solution that gives users contextual awareness and autonomy back with an interface that gives passengers information in the format that exactly fits their accessibility needs exactly. Something that point-to-point navigation does not provide. Visor provides many innovative features, including real-time live personal journey information in at least 24 different languages about facilities, points of interests, and retail, and navigation directly to the passenger’s device.
Visor’s approach is unique in the market. It makes use of optical BIDI codes that can be scanned from a smart device up to 12x further away than similarly sized QR codes. Passengers simply hold up their smartphone. The smart device automatically recognizes any BIDI codes in view and displays location- and context-specific directions to help the passenger reach their destinations more quickly and easily.
“I believe that innovations like Visor are key to realizing a more inclusive tomorrow, where all individuals can travel with greater ease and confidence, especially those with specific accessibility needs,” said Sven Koster, Head of New Business & Innovation.
Transport systems, pavements, and built environments are often not designed to be fully inclusive for blind and partially sighted people, making them difficult to navigate, particularly if the environment is unfamiliar. The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) reports that 4 out of 10 blind or partially sighted passengers cannot make all the journeys they need or want to make.
Visor makes stations accessible for the blind and partially sighted local passengers, as well as offers benefits for tourists that can now find their way around the public infrastructure in their own language; a customer base of 42 million people in the USA and Europe alone. The solution meets multiple needs to the marketplace including: providing accessible wayfinding for visual-impaired travelers, maximizing passenger comfort and confidence, allowing equitable means to travel on mass transit, and expanding ridership by meeting the needs of potential future transportation systems.
With Visor, Icomera and GoMedia have set a new standard in the transportation industry for being a technological service innovation enhancing the appeal of public transportation in accessibility, comfort, design or user-friendliness of a transport system, vehicles, and stations.