Flying blind: Apps help visually impaired navigate airport

Chieko Asakawa knows firsthand the challenges of navigating airports while blind — so she has helped devise a remedy.

Asakawa is a professor at Carnegie Mellon University’s Robotics Institute.

This spring, she and other researchers launched a navigation app for Pittsburgh International Airport that provides turn-by-turn audio instructions to users on how to get to their destination.

The app 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, they can get up and find the gift shop or coffee shop or even just wander around a bit.

It’s one of a number of apps in use at airports and train stations nationwide aimed at helping to give more independence to travelers.

Categories: National & International News