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Marseille Metro rolls out wayfinding solution to support people with disabilities

Evelity is an indoor GPS which uses Bluetooth i-beacons and an app.

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Marseille Metro is in the process of rolling out a battery-free indoor wayfinding solution to deliver personalised support for people with disabilities.

 

The Evelity solution has been developed by Okeenea, a 25-year-old company specialising in solutions for people with disabilities, particularly for use in complex venues.

 

Evelity is an indoor GPS which uses Bluetooth i-beacons and an app. Users can input their needs to generate a personalised route – such as via ramps for wheelchair users – as well as directions in real-time. The system uses filters to improve location accuracy.

 

The Marseille Metro installation will be complete within the next three months and will cover the system’s 28 stations.

 

Sylvain Denoncin, CEO, Okeenea, told SmartCitiesWorld that although there are start-ups and proofs of concept in this area, Evelity is one of the first industrialised solutions that is ready to implement.

 

The Marseille Metro installation will be complete within the next three months and will cover the system’s 28 stations.

 

Designed with end-users

 

Sylvain Denoncin said the company is committed to design-thinking in collaboration with end-users.

 

“We developed TDD (test-driven development) features,” he said. “We develop each feature one at a time with end-users. When they are satisfied, we move on to the next feature.”

 

He added: “Our core competence for 25 years is to bring solutions to people based on good technology, but our link with the end-users is vital.”

 

Denoncin said there is also great potential for the system to be used in museums, universities and other large entertainment venues.

 

Okeenea’s other solutions include Navigueo+ HIFI, an audio beacon that allows visually impaired people to locate a point of interest, and aBeacon, a connected audible pedestrian signal. It won New York Department of Transport (DOT)’s call for innovative projects in 2017 and was installed at an intersection in New York in November this year. Each beacon contains a terminal able to communicate with smartphones via Bluetooth. Okeenea describes it as “an augmented-reality pedestrian crossing”.

 

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