Outdoor environmental barriers, such as uneven sidewalks and missing curb cuts, can significantly impair pedestrian mobility, especially for people with disabilities. To better inform the public of these barriers, we developed the Application for Locational Intelligence and Geospatial Navigation (ALIGN). The mobile device app is designed to enable individuals to avoid these barriers by intelligently identifying routes that are tailored to the individual’s specific needs and abilities. For example, if a wheelchair user specifies a need for curb cuts on sidewalks, the app will guarantee a route with the most curb cuts available.
The ALIGN app is unique in that it uses the following technology:
- Real time dynamic data collection (traffic, crime, weather, etc)
- An algorithm that creates routes based on user needs instead of time or distance.
- A program that identifies barriers that were previously unrecorded (e.g. benches, street lamps, crosswalks, etc)
- A user-tested universally designed interface that caters to low vision, low hearing, and low mobility users.