An Assisted Crossing App with Coventry Council and Siemens
In a move to aid those with visual impairments, Coventry Council teamed up with Siemens to explore an innovation project around Assisted Crossing; using sensors to create a system that could let people know when it was safe to cross roads in low-speed areas of the city, answering one key challenge the council were facing;
What can we do to help visually impaired pedestrians in Low Speed Environments without signalised crossings?
Coventry Council approached 3 Sided Cube with the idea of building an app that could digest sensor information and translate this into an experience that the visually impaired could quickly and easily use as they made their way around town.
The app needed to connect to Siemens sensors and relay information to make crossing roads a safer experience for those with visual impairments, letting users know when it’s safe or unsafe to cross roads with an interface that’s led by voice and vibrations.
A prototype Android app that could be interacted with via voice and use different vibration patterns to relay information to the user. The app needed to connect with the sensors based on proximity and although have an interface, be primarily interacted with through other methods.
Creating an experience for users that was intuitive and accurate (aiming for & achieving 95% accuracy), one which they could easily use while traversing the city and have the confidence to trust in keeping them safe in difficult situations.
As user's approach an assisted crossing, they can use their mobile's existing voice service to open and interact with the app.
Connecting with Siemens sensors when they're is 4-5 metres away, getting information on when cars have stopped or are approaching the road.
With custom vibrations, voice prompts and visuals that indicate when it's safe to cross the road.
One of the most interesting aspects of the project was getting the team out to Coventry to test the app with Chris and Peter; who both have visual impairments and gave us some crucial feedback on how they’d want to use and interact with the platform.
From things like having custom vibration settings to making sure other apps didn’t send notifications while they were trying to cross the road. It was only by user testing with these guys that we were able to put ourselves into the shoes of our users.