Find out how this sensor/app navigation system can give the blind and visually impaired full access to your public building

by Brianna Crandall — November 30, 2018 — RightHear, a developer of advanced solutions for the blind and visually impaired, announced this fall the US launch of the company’s “first-of-its-kind” system — comprised of Bluetooth beacons (sensors), a smartphone application (app) and an administrator’s dashboard — designed to make public buildings fully accessible to people with sight impairments, whether visitors, employees, contractors or customers.

Person using the RightHear navigation system app on cellphone

Person using the RightHear navigation app on a cellphone. The screen message is advising the user: “The toilets are in 10 steps.” Image credit: RightHear

RightHear addresses the accessibility, orientation and navigation needs of blind and visually impaired persons (as well as orientation-challenged individuals), providing them with real-time voice cues through an application on their own smartphone about their precise indoor location, directing them and narrating the surroundings around them and ultimately offering greater independence. The free app can also instantly translate the text and read it aloud in the user’s preferred language.

The voice notifications are based on information received from Bluetooth beacons (sensors) located in the building. The self-powered sensors are installed by the building staff, by simply attaching them to the wall with a sticker. The sensors’ location is determined in consultation with RightHear.

In addition, the system includes an administrator dashboard that allows building staff to program and control the whole system optimally, according to the needs of blind and visually impaired visitors and employees.

The RightHear system is suitable for any type of public building, including complex buildings (interconnected buildings) such as malls, corporations, universities, municipalities, airports, museums, supermarkets, hotels and restaurants.

The smartphone app alerts users whenever they are near a RightHear-enabled building, and picks up the signals automatically from the beacons. The user is notified when a new local RightHear-enabled accessible zone joins the RightHear network.

Idan Meir, RightHear’s CEO, stated:

Using RightHear, blind and visually impaired persons have full access and full orientation in public buildings, giving them the ability to be independent. On the other hand, public venues and facilities will benefit from increased numbers of visitors, including blind and visually impaired persons, that until now had difficulty visiting these places.

The RightHear smartphone app is available for free download on both Android and iOS, and can immediately connect with RightHear Bluetooth beacons. It is designed to work with third-party mobile apps such as Gett, Moovit, Google Maps, Uber, Apple Maps and Lyft.

The company offers a YouTube video explaining and demonstrating the system.

The RightHear system has already been deployed in over 600 buildings and complexes, mainly in Israel but many also in the US, including malls, corporations, universities, municipalities, airports, museums, supermarkets, hotels and restaurants.

RightHear is currently represented in the US by consultant Deon Bradley in Florida (Tel: 704/604-8244), and the system is also distributed by Woodlake Technologies in Chicago (Tel: 312/733-9800). The solution can also be ordered by emailing RightHear.