Successful pilot – An innovative navigation tool for the blind and visually impaired
The French tech startup N-Vibe has developed an innovative navigation tool for blind and visually impaired people, consisting of two smart bands (one for each wrist) and a mobile application. After entering the desired destination in the app, the smart bands guide the user by means of haptic feedback (vibrations) from A to B. Last month, N-Vibe completed a pilot in collaboration with Bartiméus, Visio and Running Blind in the Netherlands and with Brailleliga and Licht & Liefde in Flanders. Meanwhile, N-Vibe already has several enthusiastic users who use the innovation almost every day.
Charlie Galle, CEO and founder of N-Vibe, recognized the need for blind and visually impaired people to move around in a minimally invasive, independent and safe way. The use of N-Vibe ensures that the user can focus on a conversation or surrounding sounds while walking. Bob Crosset, one of the pilot participants still uses N-Vibe almost every day. “N-Vibe is a product that every blind or visually impaired person should have. It is discreet and very easy to use.” Bob’s experiences with N-Vibe have been positive and he has decided to keep the innovation: “I use N-Vibe in combination with my guide dog. This makes navigating to new, unknown places very easy.”
Jolanda Kremer, a mobility trainer at Visio, extensively tested N-Vibe together with one of her clients. “The fact that the user does not have to be focused on his or her phone while walking is a big advantage,” says Jolanda. Another advantage is the built-in compass function, where the smart bands will vibrate when the user is in the right direction to start the route. Jolanda comments: “Normally a navigation app says ‘start in a southwest direction’, but I don’t know which direction that is, let alone a blind or visually impaired person. That makes this a very pleasant function.” She also points out a number of disadvantages of N-Vibe. For example, the user cannot determine the calculated route himself and it does not always involve tangible crossing points. N-Vibe mentioned that they are currently working to incorporate these features and are continuously improving their application with user feedback.
Beside France, N-Vibe is now also available in the Netherlands and Flanders. Users who sign up for the free 30-day trial in December will receive a 10% welcome discount if they decide to keep the innovation. For questions or to try N-Vibe free for 30 days, please contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org or +31 85 13 00 822.