Transpire designed and developed an iOS application to interact with beacons at Campbell Arcade in the City of Melbourne, allowing the vision impaired to navigate multiple entrances and exits and points of interest through to Flinders St station.
Bluecat Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacons were chosen as they were ideal for pinpointing the location of smartphones indoors, where GPS and Wi-Fi isn’t effective. The solution allows the beacons to send alerts and notifications to the app that then provided detailed instructions for the user to navigate through the area.
The project was broken into two phases to help iterate quickly once the base requirements and technology was created. Phase 1 included gathering high level requirements from all parties and then building the application. Phase 2 involved field testing (walkthroughs) with and without vision impaired people to help further refine the proof of concept.
Using an iterative based project methodology, multiple run-throughs were conducted to validate the concept that it is possible to use BLE beacons to navigate areas where GPS is not appropriate. The prototype validated that each beacon activated at the appropriate time and provided the user with the correct information to navigate through Campbell Arcade successfully, with a smooth user experience.