An app developer in the U.S. is creating a smartphone app that will help blind people find each other in public places.
The app is being developed by Sendero Group, and uses Bluetooth technology to communicate with other devices that are running the People Finder application.
When two users come into close proximity to each other, the smartphone will vibrate, and there are verbal commands that let the user know just how close they are to the other person.
There is an option built into the app, that allows a message to be sent to the other party once they have been located.
Mike May, head of the Sendero Group, says that his firm has years of experience of making GPS solutions for blind and visually impaired users, and that the People Finder app is a natural extension of this work.
“As a blind person, I'd love to be made aware of when somebody I know s nearby, so that I can meet with them,” he said. “As a bonus, you will also be careful not to talk about someone if you know they might be within hearing distance.”
The app is currently undergoing a trial with 100 users, and can be used both indoors and outdoors, anywhere in the world.
One user who hoped to be involved with the trial, told the BBC in an interview that he hoped to test the app on a local bus route to see if he could find a friend already on the bus, so they could travel together. Currently, he said, he and his friends use text messaging, but with the app in theory vibrating when the bus his friends are on pulls up at the stop, it should make it easier to locate each other.
Sendero Group are hoping to raise the funding needed to make a commercial launch of the People Finder app in the near future.