Sensible Innovations App for visually impaired launched at Hempstead Transit Center


Nassau Inter-County Express, or NICE, has just completed the installation of way finder iBeacons at the Rosa Parks Transit Center in Hempstead. The system, known as Aware, provides location and directions for the visually impaired. Sensible Innovations, which launched Aware in 2015 in Springfield, Illinois, installed iBeacons, essentially Bluetooth low energy electronic stickers, that can be detected by any smart phone using the free app at the 24 outdoor bus bays, exits, ticket machines, newsstand, and restrooms. Rosa Parks Hempstead Transit Center has around 20,000 people passing through it each day.

“We placed iBeacons at each bus bay so users will hear the name of the bus line, that stops at each location, when he or she passes by it, in real time, without the need to constantly rely on memory or count steps,” said Rasha Said, Sensible Innovations CEO. The Sensible Innovations’ engineers and vision specialists worked with the Transdev team to gather information about Rosa Parks Hempstead Transit Center’s bus bays and schedules to feed into Aware.

“NICE Bus is excited to be the first in the nation to offer this technology for transit riders” said NICE Bus CEO Michael Setzer. “The system will be live on May 1st. We will begin communicating the benefits of the Aware system through social media and directly to different agencies throughout Nassau County” Setzer continued..

“We used a mix of iBeacons to meet the needs of the building requirements including sourcing ones for use outdoors to combat any adverse weather. Each iBeacon has been configured onsite, with different parameters, to ensure the best real time reaction – and user experience,” said Rasha. The Aware app is free and can be downloaded by visiting the App Store or Google Play.

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Our goal is to help people with visual impairment or blindness explore their surroundings independently.

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