Inclusive Audio-Based Indoor Navigation Pilot

Update: CF-Pacific Centre Pilot A Case Study

In December 2020, we announced the pilot underway at CF-Pacific Centre. In partnership with:

Y4U, creators of the Accessibuild app to assist people with disabilities to navigate the built environment more easily and confidently around them.  Y4U Technologies Inc. is a North Bay, Ontario company specializing in 3D architectural modeling and software development.

Canadian Council of the Blind is a member-based organization of people who are blind, deaf-blind, or visually impaired. The National Office in Ottawa supports over 70 chapters across Canada with many objectives including awareness, education, and accessibility.

Cadillac Fairview possesses one of North America’s finest portfolios of retail and office properties including their flagship malls across Canada.

Gateway Navigation is a member and supplier of Buy Social Canada committed to building business relationships that generate social benefits to communities across the country. Upholding standards, best practices, and the Accessible Canada Act Principle of “nothing about us; without us” in the implementation of inclusive audio-based indoor navigation systems.

Overview

Objective of the pilot is to create an inclusive audio-based interactive indoor wayfinding system that is accessible to everyone. While providing a case study for implementing a solution economically sustainable and scalable for venue owners and managers to implement across Canada and globally.

Design and implementation of the Accessibuild CF-Pacific Centre App Pilot can be categorized into five progressive stages:

  • Gather venue LiDAR data.
  • Create 3D architectural map of venue.
  • Convert 3D map and download to Accessibuild platform.
  • Test and trial Alpha and Beta Versions of the app.
  • Launch of App and ongoing feedback by venue and app users.

Stage: 1: Gather Venue LiDAR Data

As outlined in the December 16, 2020 post, early in December, Kickstart, a local BC company specializing in LiDAR scan technology, worked a night shift compiling one hundred and twenty laser light scans of Cadillac Fairview’s flagship mall in Vancouver, CF Pacific Centre. The mall stretches three city blocks, starting at Robson Street to the south and extending to Pender Street at the north, including the large food court connecting the Mall to the Heritage Hudson Bay Building.

The highly accurate data gathered using LiDAR scans produces data accurate up to a millimetre or the thickness of a dime.

To view the full December announcement, click here to read.

What is LiDAR technology click here for more information.

Stage 2: Create 3D architectural map of Venue

Y4U has a high level of expertise in converting the point cloud data gathered through the LiDAR scan of the venue and converting it into an industry standard 3D architectural map. Including labeling of architectural elements such as doorways, stairs, elevators, floor surfaces, wall fixtures, chairs, tables, etc. All with an accuracy within millimetres.

Stage 3: Convert 3D map and download to Accessibuild platform

In February 2021, Y4U converted the data point cloud gathered by the LiDAR scans into a digital 3D architectural map of the main level of CF Pacific Centre. They then download the essential elements of that map to their Accessibuild platform, following the voluntary standards set out in the Consumer Technology Association. Outlined in the recommendations of the CTA inclusive indoor and outdoor audio-based navigation system for all persons.

What is the CTA standard click here for more information?

Stage 4: Test and trial Alpha and Beta Versions of the app

In March 2021, Y4U will release the Alpha version of the Pilot’s App to the project partners for feedback and recommendations. Software goes through two stages of testing before it is considered finished. The first stage, called alpha testing, is often completed only by a small group of users involved in the project and does not contain all the features to be included in the beta and final version.

The Beta version testing will begin later in March or early April with a group of stakeholders as part of the pilot’s co-design commitment and recommendations stated in the CTA standard and Accessible Canada Act.

A co-design approach permits a wide range of people to make a creative contribution in the formulation and solution of a problem. This is elaborated upon in the ITU / Wayfinddr open standard and it’s supporting certificate program.

What is the ITU Wayfindr Open Standard click here for more information?

What is the ITU Wayfindr certificate program click here for more information?.

Gateway Navigation CCC Ltd. personnel, who have overseen the collaboration from inception, will then engage with Cadillac Fairview, local community stakeholders, accessibility consultants and orientation mobility professionals to beta test the Accessibuild app and platform. Feedback from that engagement will result in recommendations to enhance the audio-based augmented reality experience delivered to users.

Beta timeline may be delayed depending on local COVID restrictions in effect. However, initial testing will be possible through the virtual exploration feature of the app.

Stage 5: Launch of App and ongoing feedback by venue and app users

Progressing through the pilot, we look forward to providing updates leading up to and following the launch of the Accessibuild app late Spring 2021. This includes ongoing feedback through actively engaging experiences and recommendations from Accessibuild app users. Helping to ensure the ABN result meets users needs, is inclusive and accessible.

Many thanks to Kim Ficocelli, General Manager CF-Pacific Centre and the exceptional team at Cadillac Fairview for their commitment and willingness to partner with us on this community project. Thanks also to David Martin who took the time to write the letter to introduce Gateway Navigation CCC Ltd. to the Cadillac Fairview team.

Please feel free to contact us at: mailto:partners@gnc3.comwith any questions, feedback or leads for future projects.

End of document.