The Customized Location Information Service developed by MIPsoft allows organizations to provide customized information about their premises to blind and visually impaired guests, clients, students, or staff who use an iOS-device running BlindSquare or BlindSquare Event. CLIS is already being used successfully at the University of Iowa.
Through a simple online interface, organizations can enter GPS coordinates of points of interest and descriptions of these points. BlindSquare can retrieve this information as soon as it is entered or updated and will read it out to the BlindSquare user. The University of Iowa employs CLIS to notify blind students of entrances of buildings, steps, or temporary construction work, when they approach an entrance or an obstacle. If a familiar route is blocked due to road works, it is also possible to suggest an alternative route to the user. Organizations can update or add to the information any time, and BlindSquare will use the new and updated information instantly.
CLIS is a practical and low cost service. It can make any environment more accessible to blind and visually impaired individuals, be it a school or university campus, a park, an open-air museum, or any other outdoor venue.
In future, we plan to include indoor navigation in this service. Apple’s iBeacons are an excellent tool to mark locations inside of buildings and to provide additional information. They are a good option to use for indoor navigation, because they are produced for the mainstream market and are inexpensive ($20-$30 per unit). They can be easily installed and removed when they are no longer needed.
To benefit from CLIS, blind or visually impaired individuals require an iOS-device and the BlindSquare app. If you are organizing an event for the blind and visually impaired, it may be eligible to be registered with BlindSquare Event. The BlindSquare Event app is free, and combined with CLIS, it is the perfect solution to help visually impaired attendees navigate at any event.
For more information about CLIS, please contact Ilkka Pirttimaa at firstname.lastname@example.org