The pandemic has cast a long shadow, but despite the challenges, Waymap has gone from strength to strength this year.
Our team has grown with the addition of superbly talented people, we have established new offices in central London and we have completed successful trials in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. We have also won multiple awards. Everyone involved with the company should be very proud.
Successful Trials Across the UK
After focusing on further product development and testing through the lockdown months in the first half of the year, we completed our first trial since before the pandemic with Avanti West Coast at Birmingham International Station. Prior to this, our last trial had been in Los Angeles in 2019 so we were excited to get our app back into users’ hands again.
Assisted by local charity Focus Birmingham we were joined by vision-impaired volunteers all keen to try our app for the first time to navigate around the large train station. The feedback was phenomenal and it was clear that vision-impaired users would have confidence in the app to get them to where they needed to go and could trust the accuracy of its instructions.
Building on this work, we then ran an expanded trial in London in partnership with Arriva Rail London, the operator of the London Overground. Whereas in Birmingham the trial centred on one single station environment, in this trial we enabled vision-impaired people to navigate from Shepherd’s Bush Station to Willesden Junction Station whilst travelling on London Overground trains. Once again, the results were excellent and demonstrated the importance of accessible wayfinding to independent travel for persons with disabilities.
Across both trials, we were able to demonstrate the value of a highly accurate indoor and outdoor navigation app to our users, many of whom would never venture out without an app they could trust. This validation has been crucial to what we do, confirming that our signal-free and infrastructure-free approach can combine to produce a navigation experience that will really open up cities to everyone.
Waymap Receiving Multiple Awards
We also had the opportunity to join the European Association of Service providers for Persons with Disabilities (EASPD) conference on the European Day of Persons with Disabilities in Brussels. The conference brought together EU politicians, high-level experts and disability advocates to discuss current challenges. One of the major themes was digitalization and the digital transformation in Europe and the implications for Persons with Disabilities. We’re very proud that Waymap won the technology category of the Innovation Awards this year.
In addition to this, Waymap is a finalist in two categories of the British Quality Foundation Awards in Innovation and Social Impact alongside Arriva Rail London. BQF is the premier membership organisation in the UK representing excellence and performance improvement and has an extensive track record of establishing best practices and achieving sustainable excellence.
An Exciting Partnership Announcement
We were also very excited to announce that Waymap has been chosen for support by Innovate UK, the UK Government’s innovation agency. This award recognised our breakthrough technology and the revolutionary impact it will have on accessibility and inclusion as well as on the relevance of indoor location and navigation across all industries. The significant grant funding represents a vote of confidence in our business and will be used to further develop our technology offering. By extending our product, we will deliver our cutting-edge location and navigation solution to a wider range of cities, transport networks and spaces both in the UK and around the world.
Here’s to Another Year of Success and Innovation
2022 promises to be a very exciting year for us with multiple city projects planned and further upgrades to our navigation app. Thank you to everyone with who we have worked this year.