San Francisco Airport is testing a beacon system to help blind travelers navigate around one of its new terminals.
Working with beacon company Indoo.rs, SFO has set up hundreds of beacons all over the terminal. Each beacon broadcasts signals using Bluetooth low energy. If a user downloads the app onto his or her smartphone, the beacon signals can connect to the phone and push notifications with information to the phone when a user gets within range of each beacon. For the blind or visually impaired, the mobile phone uses voiceover technology to announce points of interest, like bathrooms or close by coffee shops. If the program is successful, it could be launched throughout the entire airport.
This great use of beacon technology to help blind travelers navigate airports is just one of the reasons we like beacon technologies, when paired with apps providing a clear and explicit opt-in.