Pilot Dreamwaves with High Tech Campus (EN)

  • Pilot Dreamwaves with High Tech Campus (EN)

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See with your ears. It’s possible. Start-up Dreamwaves is experimenting at the High Tech Campus in Eindhoven with an app that navigates you to your destination based on smart sounds.

Dreamwaves has developed an intuitive navigation app to guide people through traffic simply by following sounds. The start-up is working hard and needs users to feed back their experiences and to process them in the further development of the app, which is called waveOut.

High Tech Campus Eindhoven will offer that possibility. The aim is to make the campus more accessible for the blind and partially sighted, as well as for users who do not have a visual impairment. They can also easily move from one building to another using the app.

Creator and CEO of the start-up, Hugo Furtado, who works at the university in Vienna, wants to promote the app on campus, but corona is now literally getting in the way. He explains via zoom, because what is ‘intuitive navigation’?

“If you can’t see the world through your eyes, you listen more closely to your surroundings. As sighted we are not aware of it, but we also often orientate ourselves through sound. Check it out. If you have an appointment with someone at a place, if you don’t see that person, you call. If you enter a room with people, you roughly determine how many people are present on the basis of the sounds. You instinctively store it all and imagine it. That is imagination of sound.”

Furtado wanted to make that fact useful. After researching, finding partners and resources from funds and many conversations with blind and partially sighted people, it became an app.

The app works almost the same as a normal navigation; you have to put in your earphones and hold your phone in front of you because the camera acts as your eyes. Enter an address – blind people do that via voice control – and choose to walk or cycle. The sound of drums – you can choose from three sounds – in your left or right ear navigates you to your location. If desired, the route to be followed is also visible on a map, in text or via augmented reality with green dots. It is important for safety that you also continue to hear ambient sounds.

For Apple users, the app is (still) free to download, the modified version for Android control will follow in February.

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