Visually Impaired Navigation at SFO

In cooperation with San Francisco International Airport, we unveiled a prototype smartphone application which can assist visually impaired passengers navigating through Terminal 2. The combination of® positioning algorithms, Bluetooth low-energy Beacons, Wi-Fi access points and a mobile app, helps guide the passengers. In addition, routing-by-voice is available through the use of the smartphone’s accessibility feature. for Visually Impaired at SFO
Lisa Martinez testing the SFO Visually Impaired Navigation app


Both and SFO care about things that matter, and what matters is the freedom to move about one’s environment independently with confidence and grace. With this solution, and SFO will change the way blind and low vision people travel. – Lisa Martinez, LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired


The collaboration of and SFO was made possible by Mayor Ed Lee’s Entrepreneur-in-Residence Program. The prototype version will undergo additional testing and refinement before being released for use by the traveling public. In theory, the San Francisco Airport could also push discounts and retail information to travelers as they navigate towards their gate via Beacons.


The app will tell visually-impaired travelers, and eventually everyone, what’s around them at all times. – The Verge’s map contains more than 500 points of interest throughout the terminal, adding a level of fidelity to navigation that a blind passenger might never have had otherwise. – Smithsonian


The corresponding app audibly highlights key points as users walk by, bringing attention to anything from gates and restaurants to power outlets, ATMs and bathrooms. It aims to help visually-impaired travelers get from the curb-side drop off area all the way to their gates. – Mashable

San Francisco International Airport

Lisa Martinez from LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired is doing a demo at terminal 2 of San Francisco Airport.