Okeenea: Wayfinding technology improves venue accessibility @ CES 2024 - Show Notes

Okeenea: Wayfinding technology improves venue accessibility @ CES 2024

Monday May 13, 2024 (00:11:13)


The indoor wayfinding app for disabilities, developed by Okeenea, is a groundbreaking solution that aims to create a barrier-free environment for people with disabilities. This inclusive indoor wayfinding app is designed to assist individuals with disabilities in navigating complex indoor environments such as universities, campuses, airports, and metro stations.

Indoor wayfinding app for disabilities

The app addresses a common issue with traditional wayfinding apps, which can be inaccessible or difficult to use for individuals with disabilities. By offering a user-friendly interface and customizable options, the app aims to make indoor navigation more intuitive and efficient for all users, not just those with disabilities. This inclusive design approach ensures that everyone, regardless of their abilities, can benefit from the app's features and improve their overall experience in indoor spaces.

The app utilizes Bluetooth beacons and a sophisticated algorithm for triangulation, providing users with an impressive level of accuracy of around 1 to 1.5 meters. This level of precision is essential for guiding individuals with disabilities, such as blind or visually impaired individuals, to their desired destinations within indoor spaces. Unlike GPS, which does not work indoors, the app's use of Bluetooth beacons allows for precise indoor navigation, making it a valuable tool for those who struggle with orientation in complex environments.

Expanding accessibility through technology

The app's user-centric design approach is evident in its focus on providing voice instructions to users, allowing them to simply follow the guidance provided by the app to reach their destination. This simplicity and ease of use make the app accessible to a wide range of individuals with disabilities, including those with cognitive limitations or mobility impairments.

In addition to its practical applications for individuals with disabilities, the indoor wayfinding app has broader implications for improving accessibility and inclusivity in indoor spaces. By empowering individuals with disabilities to navigate indoor environments independently, the app promotes greater independence and autonomy for these individuals, allowing them to participate more fully in everyday activities and experiences.

The app's scalability and affordability are also notable features. It has already been implemented in large venues like the Venetian. The quick and cost-effective process of delivering the service makes it accessible to a wide range of venues and organizations, ensuring that more people can benefit from the app's capabilities.

The journey of Okeenea

The development of this indoor wayfinding app was not without its challenges. The team at Okeenea worked tirelessly for five years to perfect the technology and ensure that it could effectively guide a blind person in a metro station to find a door. Through a combination of Bluetooth beacons, accelerometers, gyroscopes, and other sensors in mobile phones, the app can provide users with accurate directions and instructions for navigating indoor spaces.

Conclusion: Technology that helps improve accessibility of large venues

In conclusion, the inclusive wayfinding app developed by Okeenea represents a significant advancement in accessibility technology. By prioritizing user needs, offering customizable options, and ensuring affordability and scalability, the app has the potential to revolutionize indoor navigation for individuals with disabilities and promote greater inclusivity in society. As technology continues to evolve, innovative solutions like this app will play a crucial role in creating more accessible and inclusive environments for all individuals.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology.

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Scott Ertz

Host, Episode Author

Scott is a developer who has worked on projects of varying sizes, including all of the PLUGHITZ Corporation properties. He is also known in the gaming world for his time supporting the rhythm game community, through DDRLover and hosting tournaments throughout the Tampa Bay Area. Currently, when he is not working on software projects or hosting F5 Live: Refreshing Technology, Scott can often be found returning to his high school days working with the Foundation for Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST), mentoring teams and helping with ROBOTICON Tampa Bay. He has also helped found a student software learning group, the ASCII Warriors, currently housed at AMRoC Fab Lab.


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