The other day, I was watching BBC Reporting Scotland at Lunchtime, when they showed a news item about an application for a Smartphone that “ talks” to pedestrian crossings and “ presses the button” electronically for the disabled user, allowing them to cross safely.
That technology seemed totally innovative and so useful for the benefit of the visually impaired, wheelchair users and long cane users. It took a bit of finding as I had to request a link from the BBC, and that report you can view here.
However, there are several reports of this small company called Neatebox from Roslin, Midlothian, who have managed in a joint project with Edinburgh Council to get three pedestrian crossings just outside Parliament Building in Holyrood Road, fitted with the technology.
Gavin Neate, the developer of the app was a Guide Dog trainer for 15 years, so is well aware of all the problems for blind and disabled.
An in-house “media unit” video I did find, can be viewed at the Blackwood Foundation, and shows Gavin Neate explaining the problem for the disabled who use pedestrian crossings.
The second video of the trial can be found on the same page – but if that link/button is not immediately obvious, use this link.
Another more recent report from last week is by our own West Aberdeenshire MSP Dennis Robertson who is blind and has a guide dog. Here he reports on the trial of this innovative technology.
For those who use Facebook and wish to connect or communicate with Gavin Neate the developer of this app: you can go here. Interestingly the author of this Facebook page appears to have been excitedly awaiting the BBC item on
Reporting Scotland, showing the successful trial of the app communicating with the pedestrian crossing and stopping traffic. He is also puzzled as to why the item has suddenly disappeared. If the BBC video suddenly appears in due course, I will add on a link.