TravelCompanion (TC) is a beacon based system that will guide travelers who are using bus, train, subway, trams and airplanes. With its easy to use interface on smartphones or tablets, TC will make the journey safe and smooth. TC is built on an innovative technology with the purpose of handling the transition between different transport systems. The contribution of TC will significantly improve implementation of Universal Design in transport. Visually and hearing impaired people will be able to travel on their own, guided throughout the journey using a smart phone or tablet. The use of beacon technology is essential for indoor navigation in TC and therefore a central part of the system.
TravelCompanion aimes to guide throughout the whole journey across different types of transport. It is developed to be compatible with the Wayfindr Open Standard for audio-based navigation.The video below demonstrates the core functions of TravelCompanion in use at Tøyen Metro Station in Oslo, Norway.
Beacons are small wireless units transmitting a predefined Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) signal. The information stored in the signal is received by a BLE compatible unit – typically a smartphone or a tablet. Preinstalled apps on the unit translate the BLE information received into defined actions in the apps. The beacons are usually stationary while the receiving units are moving as their users move. Possible use is to provide context relevant location information, e.g. information about a specific item in an art museum, walking guidelines for indoor navigation, menus and ordering information in restaurants, mobile payment in stores, relevant shopping offers and specific coupons.
TravelCompanion has been granted project funding for beacons based Universal Design through The Norwegian Directorate for Children, Youth and Family Affairs, Deltasenteret; and from VRI Vestfold. Collaborating partners are Next Signal, SINTEF ICT, LabWerk, Empatix, Norges Blindeforbund and Norges Døveforbund.
TravelCompanion is also receiver of Innovation Norway Premarket Evaluation and Commercialization start-up grants.
Vision and values
TravelCompanion makes traveling easy for everyone, through beacon based Universal Design.
Freedom to travel
Safety in reliable technology
Clarity in the information