Fly blind: applications help the visually impaired navigate the airport

PITTSBURGH: Chieko Asakawa knows firsthand the challenges of navigating airports when she is blind, so she has helped devise a remedy.

Asakawa is a professor in University of Carnegie Mellon Robotics Institute.

This spring, she and other researchers launched a navigation application to Pittsburgh International Airport It provides step-by-step audio instructions to users on how to get to their destination.

The application is called NavCog. It works almost like an indoor GPS.

Previously, visually impaired travelers would arrive at the Pittsburgh airport and request an escort.

With NavCog, you can get up and find the gift shop or the cafeteria or just wander around a bit.

It is one of the applications that are used in airports and train stations across the country to help give more independence to travelers.

comments