NaviLens tool is based on color codes that can be read with a smartphone and that guide the user
Benidorm will implement an innovative people guidance system in the Old Town in autumn
This accessibility project is already operating in cities like New York and has received a grant from the Department of Equality and Inclusive Policies
Benidorm City Council is going to implement an innovative bookmarking system for the guidance of people in the Old Town in autumn: NaviLens. It is “a Spanish development tool and that although it is conceived and designed to facilitate accessibility for people with visual disabilities, it can be used by any user”, as the mayor, Toni Pérez, explained today.
The mayor has stressed that this project, which will be fully implemented in the early stages of autumn, "is in absolute harmony with the city's Universal and Tourist Accessibility plans, and allows us to advance in our goal of achieving full accessibility as reduced as possible ”.
"Our project goes beyond using NaviLens to guide people, since it is intended to take advantage of their full potential and implement universal applicability, so that we use these same codes for different uses", explained Toni Pérez. "In a first phase - he specified - we are going to focus on its operation for guiding people in the Old Town - an area without sidewalks-, in order to expand its application to other levels at a later stage". Thus, "for example, in a next phase, NaviLens could incorporate audio guides with historical, heritage and tourist information, or relevant information that the user should know could be provided in real time."
As he has detailed, NaviLens "is an evolution of QR codes, developed by the Murcian company Neosistec in the hands of the Mobile Vision Research Laboratory of the University of Alicante." These color codes "can be read with‘ smartphones ’, with a free application, and do it over a long distance, on the move and without the need to focus."
In fact, 'smartphones' are capable of detecting NaviLens codes at distances between 4 and 15 meters. The information obtained "is read by the terminal", which "immediately interprets it, the georeference, expands it with the documentation that we want to highlight and transforms it into audio to be heard". In addition, this ‘app’ available for Android and IOS “allows the translation of information into the user's language automatically and can even provide a visual message in sign language, a high-level technological innovation”.
“It is, therefore, a very easy-to-use system and that when reporting information, via audio and in the recipient's language, will be decisive in expanding the range of possibilities and consolidating accessibility and innovation, two of the pillars of the Smart Tourist Destination ", has added.
Likewise, the mayor has highlighted that “the suitability of this project is endorsed by the fact that the Department of Equality and Inclusive Policies has responded to the request made by the City Council and is going to finance the implementation of NaviLens in the Old Town ”. This subsidy is part of the aid program for the improvement of accessibility conditions to the physical environment, whose resolution was published last week in the Official Gazette of the Generalitat Valenciana (DOGV).
NaviLens codes are already used in the packaging of a multinational food grains company, bus stops and subway stations in New York, and in some Spanish cities such as Murcia -where Neosistec tested its codes and application for the first time- , Madrid, Barcelona and Córdoba