We are doing science for policy
The Joint Research Centre (JRC) is the European Commission's science and knowledge service which employs scientists to carry out research in order to provide independent scientific advice and support to EU policy.
SESAMONET (Secure and Safe Mobility Network) – a 2 km prototype path for safe navigation for the visually impaired - opens for use on the shores of Lake Maggiore (Northern Italy).
Scientists at the European Commission's Joint Research Centre have developed a prototype system which uses RFID micro-chips embedded in the ground to guide a visually impaired person through a predefined area. The microchips can be recycled from the electronic tracking of cattle. Each micro-chip sends position signals via a dedicated walking stick to a smart phone containing information about the location and a recorded voice – via a Bluetooth headset - guides the visually impaired person along the route. In collaboration with the municipal authorities of Laveno, a 2 km path along the lakeshore – starting at the railway station – has been equipped with microchips wrapped in ceramic cells and embedded at 65 cm intervals. As it works independently from electric power or GPS, SESAMONET can be installed both in indoor and external environments (e.g. parks, shopping centres) and thus can contribute to improved mobility for those who suffer from visual impairments.