StreetNav: a GPS that takes disability situations into account (rather well) – Face Face

StreetNav: a GPS that takes disability situations into account (rather well) – Face Face
StreetNav: a GPS that takes disability situations into account (rather well) – Face Face

A tool for signaling obstacles to a visually impaired pedestrian in real time. Or indicate the routes accessible without elevation change to a person traveling in a wheelchair. An attractive idea but not only that. Introducing StreetNav, a brand new free guidance app. tested it for you.

Audio glasses to decipher a visual environment. Vibrating bracelets when approaching obstacles. Collaborative applications which would integrate all accessible places or suitable parking spaces. We can no longer count the promises and press releases about the tool which, it is sworn, will revolutionize the travel of people with disabilities. And this for a good twenty years.

Half-skeptical and half-ironic, I take my guide dog’s harness in one hand, a precious umbrella on this very rainy spring day in the other. And I go as planned to the meeting offered to me by the designers of the tool that will change my life. They invite me to test it.

Taking on a neighborhood with increased accessibility

I nestle in the hollow of one ear, one of the earpieces of my smartphone. I never wear both when I’m moving, to maintain the possibility of hearing traffic, other pedestrians, the different echoes sent back to me by a wall or a park… In short, to stay safe and decipher my immediate environment.

I launch StreetNav, the brand new application that people are praising to me, and I go to follow a route in a neighborhood with increased accessibility. In these districts, the Paris town hall has normally ensured that the routes are simplified, with as few obstacles as possible. There are currently 17, including two already equipped with Streetnav technology.

Traffic advice adapted to user profiles

I choose my profile: visually impaired. I was also offered an able-bodied pedestrian and person in a wheelchair. I enter an address in 12e Parisian district.

The male voice whispers to me to cross street x, turn onto street Y, continue straight. A classic GPS in short.

A precious little extra

But with this little extra that seemed to me to make the difference at the start of my journey. Without seeing the map, classic GPS usually leaves me confused about which direction to take. I rely on the distance that increases, or decreases, after having covered a hundred meters, to know if I went in the right direction… or the wrong direction. There, Streetnav’s compass vibrates to tell me where to turn. I’m not moving. All I have to do is turn my phone left, then right. It’s vibrating to the right, I’m going!

Another advantage: the application asks me which sidewalk I am on, in order to tell me as precisely as possible the obstacles on my path. But nothing to report to me that morning. The wide, clean, deserted sidewalks let me run along, without hindrance.

Technology, a complement, not a panacea

Streetnav can also, through the search for points of interest, point out public transport, bakeries, etc. Again, a valuable asset for those who cannot see their surroundings.

So, once the test is over, I use it to go home and find a nearby metro station. With success… or almost. Streetnav asked me to cross the boulevard while my dog ​​saw an entrance right at the end of his nose, on the sidewalk where we were walking. Hats off to the artist!

Free, the application is the fruit of the work of three start-ups who have joined forces to facilitate travel for people with disabilities: Audiospot, N-Vibe and Streetco.

Streetnav is currently available on the Apple Store and very soon via Play store.



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