Wayfindr standard for audio navigation is user-centred, not technology driven

Wayfindr's Open Standard for audio navigation has recently been approved by the International Telecommunications Union as ITU-T F.921 (read more here, ITU-T). As a standard, it is a rare example which focusses on the quality of experience for the end user rather than technologies used to deliver it.

ITU and Wayfindr Logos

“Emerging indoor navigation technologies such as Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) Beacons and 5G hold the key to opening up the world for vision impaired people. In order to achieve the greatest impact globally, there is a pressing need to develop a consistent standard to be implemented across wayfinding systems. This will truly open up a world where vision impaired people are no longer held back by their sight loss, removing barriers to employment, to seeing friends and family and engaging in their community.

“The Wayfindr Open Standard aims to do just that. As the Open Standard further develops it will give venue owners and digital navigation services the tools to implement high quality, consistent, audio wayfinding solutions. It includes an open-source demo app that enables people who download it to use BLE beacons to understand and implement the open standard with real users, in real contexts, in real time.”

Whilst there is much in the standard about specific technologies, amongst the many standards around technology it is refreshing to see one focussed on the need of the user community rather than the specific capabilities of certain technology companies. Look deeper into the standard and you will find the focus is on the human and in particular the timing, nature and quality of the instructions given to them in key situations. The 'quality of instruction' received by the user is the key measure of successful implementation of the standard. What technologies are used, when and how to deliver these instructions is a question left open to the provider. Which is a very good thing, especially when the technologies such as BLE Beacons mentioned are not able to locate people well enough to support the quality of instruction demanded by the standard.

The focus on the quality of instruction ensures that the true needs of the user remain our benchmark. A benchmark that will weed out intermediate and unsustainable technologies and drive innovation further and faster.

The fact that this standard is user-centred is perhaps not that surprising when you see that the people that are the driving forces behind its development and approval; they are passionate advocates from within the community, often themselves visually impaired.

Back to our blog ....

Waymap news and opinion

ITU and Wayfindr Logos

Wayfindr standard for audio navigation is user-centred, not technology driven

Wayfindr's Open Standard for audio navigation has recently been approved by the International Telecommunications Union as ITU-T F.921 (read more here, ITU-T). As a standard, it is a rare example which focusses on the quality of experience for the end user rather than technologies used to deliver it.

“Emerging indoor navigation technologies such as Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) Beacons and 5G hold the key to opening up the world for vision impaired people. In order to achieve the greatest impact globally, there is a pressing need to develop a consistent standard to be implemented across wayfinding systems. This will truly open up a world where vision impaired people are no longer held back by their sight loss, removing barriers to employment, to seeing friends and family and engaging in their community.

“The Wayfindr Open Standard aims to do just that. As the Open Standard further develops it will give venue owners and digital navigation services the tools to implement high quality, consistent, audio wayfinding solutions. It includes an open-source demo app that enables people who download it to use BLE beacons to understand and implement the open standard with real users, in real contexts, in real time.”

Whilst there is much in the standard about specific technologies, amongst the many standards around technology it is refreshing to see one focussed on the need of the user community rather than the specific capabilities of certain technology companies. Look deeper into the standard and you will find the focus is on the human and in particular the timing, nature and quality of the instructions given to them in key situations. The ‘quality of instruction’ received by the user is the key measure of successful implementation of the standard. What technologies are used, when and how to deliver these instructions is a question left open to the provider. Which is a very good thing, especially when the technologies such as BLE Beacons mentioned are not able to locate people well enough to support the quality of instruction demanded by the standard.

The focus on the quality of instruction ensures that the true needs of the user remain our benchmark. A benchmark that will weed out intermediate and unsustainable technologies and drive innovation further and faster.

The fact that this standard is user-centred is perhaps not that surprising when you see that the people that are the driving forces behind its development and approval; they are passionate advocates from within the community, often themselves visually impaired.

Back to our blog ...