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BlindSquare Indoor Navigation Open House

  • Saturday, February 06, 2016
  • 9:00am - 5:00pm

The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences has completed the first phase of an indoor navigation system for people with visual impairments. The system enables people with visual impairments to explore the Nature Research Center independently using BlindSquare — the most popular navigation app for the blind.

You are cordially invited to try the indoor navigation system for yourself during an open house from 9am–5pm on Saturday, February 6. Please read the important information below before you come.

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Event Information & FAQ

Where?

NC Museum of Natural Sciences
Nature Research Center
121 West Jones Street
Raleigh, NC 27601

Note that the NC Museum of Natural Sciences occupies two buildings on West Jones street. The open house will be held in the Nature Research Center, which is the building with the large globe attached to it.

Will there be door prizes at the open house?

Of course! You can register to win a pair of AfterShokz Trekz Titatium bone conduction headphones or a free copy of BlindSquare.

What should I do before I come to the open house?

Install BlindSquare or the free demo version of the app before you come so you can experience the indoor navigation system for yourself!

How do I install BlindSquare?

Follow this link on your iPhone to purchase BlindSquare from the Apple App Store or follow these manual instructions:

  1. Open the App Store app on your iPhone.
  2. Select the Search tab at the bottom of the screen.
  3. Search for “BlindSquare,” which is all one word with no spaces.
  4. Install the app.

If you have already purchased BlindSquare you must install version 3.41 or later to experience the indoor navigation features. Instructions:

  1. Open the App Store app on your iPhone.
  2. Select the Updates tab at the bottom of the screen.
  3. Update BlindSquare to the latest version which should be version 3.41 or later.

How do I install the free demo version of BlindSquare?

The free demo version of BlindSquare is called BlindSqEvent. It can only be used within a short radius of the Museum and a few other demonstration sites around the world.

Follow this link on your iPhone to install BlindSqEvent from the Apple App Store or follow these manual instructions:

  1. Open the App Store app on your iPhone.
  2. Select the Search tab at the bottom of the screen.
  3. Search for “BlindSqEvent,” which is all one word with no spaces.
  4. Install the app.

If you have already installed BlindSqEvent you must upgrade to version 3.41 or later to experience the indoor navigation features. Instructions:

  1. Open the App Store app on your iPhone.
  2. Select the Updates tab at the bottom of the screen.
  3. Update BlindSqEvent to the latest version which should be version 3.41 or later.

Can I use an iPod Touch or iPad instead of an iPhone?

No. The indoor navigation system requires a compass and those devices do not have one.

How do I access the indoor navigation system?

  1. Launch BlindSquare or BlindSqEvent on your iPhone.
  2. Walk through the Museum until BlindSquare plays a tone and announces the name of a corridor, intersection, or point of interest such as the Daily Planet Café.
  3. Stop walking.
  4. Point your iPhone in different directions to discover other corridors, intersections, or points of interest in your vicinity.
  5. Shake your iPhone to hear the name of your current location and all directional messages for that location.

How accurate is the indoor navigation system?

The indoor navigation system is accurate within about 20-30 feet. The system provides information about your general location. It also provides information about your surroundings given the limitations of your iPhone’s compass and the interference from metal and electrical systems within the Museum.

Does the indoor navigation system replace my long cane or dog guide?

Absolutely not.

Does the indoor navigation system support turn-by-turn directions within the Museum?

No. The indoor navigation system provides information that enables you to build a mental map of the Museum without sighted assistance. In other words, the system provides non-visual access to the directional signage that is used by sighted people.

How does the indoor navigation system work?

The indoor navigation system utilizes iBeacons. The iBeacons have been mounted at strategic locations that facilitate orientation for people with visual impairments. For example, iBeacons have been mounted near entrances, restrooms, emergency exits, elevators, and along corridors within exhibit spaces. The BlindSquare app uses those iBeacons to determine your location and it uses your iPhone’s compass to determine which direction you are facing.

What is an iBeacon?

An iBeacon is a low-energy Bluetooth device that transmits a signal that can be received by mobile phones. The signal transmitted by each iBeacon is unique just like the pattern of light transmitted by each lighthouse on the coast of North Carolina is unique. And the BlindSquare app approximates location using iBeacons just like the captain of a ship approximates location using lighthouses.

Does the Museum collect any personal data when I use the indoor navigation system?

No.

Does the system cover the entire Museum?

The first phase of the system was completed in January, 2016. It covers the Nature Research Center at 121 West Jones Street. Additional buildings will be supported in the second phase of the project.

How can I learn more?

Check out the press release for phase one of the project or contact Liani Yirka at liani.yirka@naturalsciences.org.

Details

Date:
February 6
Times:
9:00 am - 5:00 pm

Venue

Downtown Raleigh
11 West Jones Street
Raleigh, NC 27601 United States
Phone:
919.707.9800

Organizer

Liani Yirka
919.707.9887