Imagine trying to cross a busy city street without being able to see the traffic lights change color or glance down the road to make sure the oncoming cars have stopped. For the blind and visually impaired, that’s just one aspect of navigating the world that presents a challenge, but an app called SeeLight aims to solve this problem, one traffic light at a time.
Only 10 percent of traffic lights are equipped with audible signals and tactile paving that helps the visually impaired “feel” their way safely across the road, according to Hungry Boys, the Russian digital agency that pioneered development of the SeeLight app.
While it might not be realistic to expect traffic lights worldwide to soon be optimized for use by the blind, with this app, it might not matter.
The app, which is available globally for free download on iTunes, helps users “see” crossing lights by providing information such as the distance between the user and the closest light, whether there is tactile pavement on the road and how many seconds remain until the light changes from green to red or vice versa. Voice navigation helps users safely and confidently get around town, whether they’re walking to their local supermarket or exploring a new city.