winning cities across the competitions

• WARSAW : 2014 WINNER •

Virtual Warsaw: An Urban Information System for the Visually Impaired

Winning Proposal

Virtual Warsaw

The Problem

Forty thousand of Warsaw’s two million residents are visually impaired. People with visual impairment encounter many obstacles in everyday life and are often unable to actively participate in city life. A survey of visually impaired people in Warsaw found that it sometimes takes between 60 and 95 hours of training to learn how to move safely around the City.

The Innovation

Thousands of beacons will be installed around the City that will communicate location data to the smartphones of the visually impaired, allowing them to navigate on their own. Even more, these beacons may be leveraged to improve services for all citizens helping them better locate cultural attractions and navigate public transportation.

The Impact

City leaders are currently testing the technology in partnership with the Polish Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired. The City ultimately plans to install the technology in public transportation, public buildings, and leisure and cultural sites.