Australian startup BindiMaps is revolutionising the way people who are blind or vision-impaired experience large indoor spaces with an app that facilitates simple navigation in indoor locations, like shopping centres.
Stockland Traralgon has officially launched the BindiMaps technology at the centre, following the successful launches at Stockland Wetherill Park in New South Wales, and Stockland Burleigh Heads and Stockland Rockhampton in Queensland.
The app is optimised for the vision-impaired community and uses a network of Bluetooth beacons placed throughout the indoor environment. BindiMaps applies everyday language to verbally guide users via their smart phones to their destinations.
Founder and CEO of BindiMaps, Dr Anna Wright, said BindiMaps was proud to be working with Stockland, one of its first major clients, and was encouraged by Stockland’s enthusiasm to adopt the innovation first in New South Wales, followed by Queensland, and now, Victoria.
“While BindiMaps can enhance the shopping experience for any customer, it completely changes the way people with a vision impairment can safely and independently access indoor spaces.
“Before BindiMaps, a person with vision impairment would need significant help from others to be able to do something most of us take for granted, such as accessing a local shopping centre. But now, even someone whose sight is very limited or non-existent can find their way around much more independently, even if they are unfamiliar with the space.
“We are so pleased that Stockland Traralgon is the latest in our nation-wide rollout of shopping centres, educational institutions and other public buildings.”
The BindiMaps technology can be applied inside any major precinct such as university campuses, airports and office buildings. It is currently available at a number of locations including The University of Technology Sydney, TAFE NSW’s Ultimo campus and the Adelaide Central Market, in addition to Stockland shopping centres in New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria.
Centre Manager at Stockland Traralgon, Jeff Andrews, said that this is just one more way the centre is committed to providing a better customer experience for the community.
“This innovative wayfinding system will open up a whole new world of discovery for customers with vision impairments. It’s inspiring to see technology such as this one improving the lives of our customers in such a meaningful way.
“It also removes significant pain points for people with a vision impairment when navigating a shopping centre – from locating entry and exit points, to finding amenities or new or relocated stores.
Mr Andrews continued: “It plays a particularly important role right now with the impacts of COVID- 19, as our vision-impaired customers can more quickly and efficiently complete their shopping, while also eliminating the need come in close contact with others to ask for directions.”
Bashir Ebrahim OAM, Orientation and Mobility Specialist at Vision Australia, said: “Technology like BindiMaps can play a major role in supporting people who are blind or have low vision to access the community and be included in society.
“Locations like shopping centres can be challenging to navigate for people who are blind or have low vision. Technology like BindiMaps can give them the ability to do that independently and not have to rely on other people to support them to do something that is part of day-to-day life.”
For more information or to download the app, visit www.bindimaps.com.