The JRC has developed SESAMONET - SEcure and SAfe MObility NETwork - designed to improve ease of movement for visually impaired people.
The idea consists in using RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) passive transponders (i.e. microchips) to create a path guiding a visually impaired person through a location. Already used for the electronic identification of cattle, these chips can be recycled when the animal reaches the end of its life. The RFID path does not need any electric power supply and can be installed in areas such as parks, pedestrian areas, town centres, buildings.
The walking stick has an embedded antenna (with a bluetooth transmitter) which detects/reads the RFID transponders. Each transponder sends a signal via the antenna to a smart phone equipped with a database with information on the location.
Through a bluetooth headset the person receives information on the path (e.g. how to reach his/her destination or if some services are nearby). It is possible to connect the smart phone to a an external database with real-time information about the path (works in progress, changes to transport schedule, …).
Prototype and active paths
See the map below.
The Parco Prealpi Giulie (one of the two regional parks in Friuli Venezia Giulia, northern Italy) and the Italian Blind Association (UIC) in Udine installed a SESAMONET path inside the park area, in collaboration with the JRC and Deimos Engineering Srl. The Parco Prealpi Giulie has fitted the hostel, the info point and the nearby nature trail of Pian dei Ciclamini for disabled guests. The SESAMONET system is to be used in these areas and for the trail, as well. The UIC is planning to use the paths to train visually disabled persons.
See the map below.
Other SESAMONET path have been installed in various locations. For an updated list of active paths, please refer to the contact details below.
Partners and contact details
SESAMONET has been possible thanks to the collaboration of the following partners.
Since 2012, a small spin-off company - kMG Solutions, based in Italy - is taking care of further developing and testing SESAMONET. This spin-off company will also be taking care of all requests for installations that are addressed by interested parties to the JRC.
To contact kMG Solutions, please write to: firstname.lastname@example.org