Cool Blind Tech – Foresight AR Beacons Help Visually Impaired Travelers A Way to Navigate Independently

Excerpt from article:

The company installs their connected beacons near entrances, exits, and inside brick-and-mortar businesses, from government buildings to public parks, to your local shops and large shopping malls, says Williams. An accompanying smartphone app allows users to look up locations nearby that are accessible and navigate to them using bluetooth technology.

The app provides vocal directions to the location users want to travel to, as well as indoor navigation and any safety hazard warnings. The beacons, place in different spots around the business, work in sync with the app to provide detailed instructions.

For example, the app would provide a vocal countdown to get the user to the entrance of a business. Restaurants can add menus to the app, as braille menus are often not readily available.

In this way, beyond serving as an accessibility tool, FAR allows businesses to directly target this largely underserved group of potential customers.

Read the full story

SE Tech Podcast with Tara Williams of Foresight Augmented Reality

SETechPodcast Ep. 61 – Foresight Augmented Reality with Tara Williams
Morris, Manning & Martin, LLP speaks with Tara Williams of Foresight Augmented Reality, who’s FAR beacon system is a multi-faceted system that incorporates location identification combined with magnetic heading and intent prediction to provide descriptive voice context to the world for the visually impaired and blind.
Foresight Augmented Reality is headquartered in Atlanta, GA.
Listen to the full podcast here:

Game-Changing New Tech Featured at Arizona’s Longest Running Technology Expo

PHOENIX — Drivers in Glendale are sure to notice many people with white canes and guide dogs on Friday, November 16 near the Glendale Civic Center. The Vision Rehabilitation & Assistive Technology Expo (VRATE) is entering its 22nd year, making it the longest running and largest expo of its type in the Southwest.

“Join us for a unique event to showcase new technology, ideas, and presentations for individuals with vision loss, blindness or combined vision and hearing loss. 2018 will showcase some of the most innovative technology the blind have seen at VRATE so far,” said Nikki Jeffords, President of the Board of Directors for VRATE and Rehabilitation Training & Outreach Specialist at the National Research & Training Center on Blindness and Low Vision.

VRATE 2018 will host its first-ever technology-enabled scavenger hunt, sponsored by Foresight Augmented Reality (FAR). Participants will follow directions to find and visit five nearby FAR accessible locations for a chance to win prizes. The route will be relatively simple and incorporate five local businesses. The path is specifically designed utilizing FAR Bluetooth beacon technology paired with a VRATE attendee’s smartphone using the FAR Vision app for an interactive experience.

“Our goal is to encourage people to get out and be mobile, and this scavenger hunt is a perfect way to utilize technology for that purpose. This is a way to show the community around Glendale, and Arizona, that the blind and visually impaired enjoy going out and doing the same things everyone else does,” said Jordan Moon, VRATE Board member and Community Relations Specialist at SAAVI Services for the Blind.

This year, VRATE will focus on innovative tech that has never been featured at this expo before. Bluetooth technology is changing the way the blind interact with their surroundings. FAR Accessible locations, like those participating in the VRATE Scavenger hunt, are increasing in locations all over the country. The FAR system provides indoor and outdoor navigation with much greater accuracy than GPS along with contextual information, all through audio, to enable greater engagement with the locations. For the first time, technology will assist in directing VRATE attendees from place to place around Glendale Civic Center (in addition to our human volunteers).

VRATE attendees are encouraged to download the free FAR Vision app on Google Play or the App store before the conference. Any issues or questions may be directed to

The VRATE Board of Directors would especially like to thank the Department of Economic Security (DES) for its support. As one of the event’s largest stakeholders, DES will continue to support VRATE through on-site interpreters, covering the costs for certain event materials, and the use DES technology equipment.

“For 22 years, DES has been honored to support VRATE and its effort to provide Arizonans with vision loss and blindness an opportunity to learn about the plethora of resources available to enhance their quality of life,” said DES Director Michael Trailor.

For many people new to blindness, VRATE is often the first expo of its kind they attend. Although VRATE has a focus on technology, all relevant blind services will provide information, such as the DES’s Vocational Rehabilitation employment training program.

VRATE 2018 Keynote Program features three speakers (with very different backgrounds) who share the same eye condition, Retinitis Pigmentosa. Each speaker will relate their particular story of vision loss, and success found in their respective fields.

2018 Keynote Program Speakers are:

  • Arizona’s Michael Armstrong, Blind Mountaineer/Health and Wellness instructor for the blind.
  • Bill Boules, a highly credentialed 22-year blindness rehabilitation professional and advocate for the blind known for his trainings and social media presence.
  • Sean Callagy, Founder & President of Callagy Law (with offices in NJ, AZ, NY, & FL) who is one of only two lawyers in the United States to have 2 Top 100 Jury Verdicts between 2014-2016, including the Top AZ Jury Verdict of 2016. He accomplished all of this with a degenerative eye condition.

VRATE is being held from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm on Friday, November 16th, 2018 at the Glendale Civic Center, 5750 West Glenn Drive, Glendale, Arizona 85301. It is free to attend. We ask that attendees preregister at

  • VRATE is seeking sighted volunteers for the event. If you are interested in learning how to be a sighted guide or help at an info booth- please email: Michael “Big Dog” Abell at
  • If you have any technology to donate to other blind people in need, such as eyeglasses, magnifiers, mobility devices, talking machines etc. please bring them to the VRATE event or email us at

For more information about VRATE, please visit our website,


Hypepotamus – Foresight AR Beacons Give the Visually Impaired A Way to Navigate Independently

Excerpt from Hypepotamus article, written by Muriel Vega

25.5 million adults in the United States have reported vision loss, ranging from partial to total blindness. One of those individuals is David Furukawa, who was diagnosed with a degenerative eye disease in college and gradually lost his sight. As he felt a loss his independence in tandem with vision loss, Furukawa shared his pain points with friends Tara Williams and Chris Webb.

The timing was right, as both technologists were looking for their next project. They decided to find a way to use technology to provide more access and independence to the blind and visually impaired. Aside from broad prompts from a smartphone or GPS, visually-impaired individuals often can’t easily locate the entrance of a business, read the menu at a restaurant, or even find the bathroom.

That’s how smart city beacon startup Foresight Augmented Reality (FAR) was born. “We’re providing a voice to the physical world for people who are blind and visually impaired,” says CEO Williams.

Read the full article on Hypepotamus –


Venture Atlanta 2018 Ushers In Next Wave of Technology Innovators, Unveils List of Most Promising Companies

Companies will share their solutions at the highly anticipated annual event credited with helping infuse the Southeast with over $2.6 billion in funding to date

ATLANTA – September 20, 2018 – Venture Atlanta, the Southeast’s premier technology innovation and investor conference, announced today the 67 most promising technology companies that will be showcased during its annual event on October 16-17. Leaders from 33 venture and early stage companies will take the podium to pitch their businesses while 34 additional startups will share their visions as “companies to watch” during a dedicated networking event. Now in its 11th year, Venture Atlanta has earned a reputation for consistently identifying tomorrow’s cutting-edge technologies while helping to launch over 400 companies and secure over $2.6 billion in funding to date.

Taking place in the heart of downtown Atlanta, Venture Atlanta is expected to draw a sold-out crowd of over 900 technology entrepreneurs, premier investors and key executives from across the country with representation from over 150 funds. The conference features a stellar speaker lineup including former NetSuite CEO Zach Nelson and Dave DeWalt, former CEO of FireEye, McAfee and Documentum, as keynote speakers. TechSquare Labs will return as the event’s premier sponsor. Additionally, Techstars Atlanta will help kick off the conference on October 15 with its 2018 Demo Day, in partnership with Cox Enterprises.

“After pouring over hundreds of applications from promising companies, this year’s list of participating companies was the hardest yet to select.  From emerging technology startups to more established venture-stage companies, it is clear that tech innovation in our region is incredibly bright and strong,” said Ned Hill, managing director, technology banking at Square 1 Bank and also the Venture Atlanta 2018 company selection chair. “Also featuring iconic technology executive speakers and incomparable networking opportunities, this year’s conference promises to be a tremendous opportunity to forge new relationships in our tech community and to connect the people and capital needed to accelerate growth.”

Since its inception, Venture Atlanta has served as a launch pad for many of today’s successful technology companies, including Acculynk (acquired by First Data), Clearleap (acquired by IBM), Cloud Sherpas (acquired by Accenture), JouleX (acquired by Cisco), Kabbage, RazorInsights (acquired by Athena Health), Roadie, Rubicon, SalesLoft and Silverpop (acquired by IBM).

The following 33 companies have been chosen to present onstage at Venture Atlanta 2018:

  • 2ULaundry
  • BAM
  • Bark
  • Brightwell
  • brrr°
  • CulturaLink
  • DataSeers
  • Decisely
  • Demand Driven Technologies
  • Excel Health
  • FlowFound
  • Fortress Information Security
  • Fraudscope
  • FreightWaves
  • Goodr
  • GreenPrint
  • iScribeHealth
  • Leap Credit
  • MoQuality
  • NOWaccount Network Corporation
  • Peerfit
  • Radix Health
  • Reveal Mobile
  • RoadSync
  • Safely
  • Seller Labs
  • SmartPM Technologies
  • Soundstripe
  • Stackfolio
  • Verady
  • XOi Technologies

Startup Showcase

In addition to the companies presenting onstage, Venture Atlanta will also include an expanded Startup Showcase featuring 34 companies that represent the most exciting emerging technologies in the Southeast. These innovators will be highlighted during the conference’s main networking event to provide “sneak peeks” into their plans and products. The companies include:

  • Aquagenuity
  • BOOP | Built Out Of Paper
  • BoxLock
  • Carbice Corporation
  • Cherry Street Energy
  • Corstrata
  • CURO
  • Draftserv Technologies
  • Eletype
  • Fitspot Wellness, Inc.
  • Foresight Augmented Reality (FAR)
  • FortifyData
  • Fraudmarc
  • RealTheory
  • GreenFill
  • Jubi
  • Kobiton
  • Last Bottle Clothing
  • Make Music Count
  • Monetizr
  • NFANT Labs
  • OncoLens
  • Package Solutions
  • Performance Predictions
  • PurpleCloud Technologies
  • Qoins
  • Speakalytics
  • SynsorMed
  • TommyRun
  • Trusted Sale
  • Veriphy Analytics
  • Vertaeon
  • VRgluv
  • Yellow Card Financial

“Our inaugural year of the Venture Atlanta Startup Showcase in 2017 was a huge hit—so much so that in 2018, we’re doubling the size and increasing the networking opportunities to showcase even more of our region’s most innovative companies,” said Jason Ferguson, Atlanta district manager of Insperity, the sponsor of Venture Atlanta Startup Showcase. “We’re excited to support these carefully chosen 34 startups as they share their plans and vision as well as build the connections they need to fuel their future growth.”

Venture Atlanta 2018 is anticipated to be another sold-out event. To register, view the conference schedule or access more information, visit

About Venture Atlanta

Venture Atlanta, Georgia’s technology innovation event, is where the region’s most promising tech companies meet the country’s top-tier investors. As the South’s largest investor showcase helping launch more than 400 companies and raise over $2.6 billion in funding to date, Venture Atlanta connects local entrepreneurs with local and national venture capitalists, bankers, angel investors and others in the technology ecosystem who can help them raise the capital they need to grow their businesses. The annual nonprofit event is a collaboration of three leading Georgia business organizations: Atlanta CEO Council, Metro Atlanta Chamber and the Technology Association of Georgia (TAG). For more information, visit For updates, follow us on Twitter, and visit our blog.

First FAR Accessible Atlanta Public School Unveiled

Under the direction of Principal David White, Burgess Peterson Elementary was unveiled as the first Atlanta Public School to become FAR Accessible. FAR Accessible schools enable blind and visually impaired students and parents to easily navigate to and within the school buildings as well as interact

For this initial APS roll out, the Boy Scouts of America were brought in.  Pack 1031 of East Atlanta was engaged to deploy the beacons throughout the school. Pack Leader Jason Royal shared why this was an important activity for the scouts. “I chose the FAR project at Burgess-Peterson Academy for Cub Scout Pack 1031 for a number of reasons.  It seemed to fit in perfectly with a Scout lesson on community service and helping those in need.  We had several different age appropriate examples where we had the children try to perform everyday activities with some kind of roadblock.”  “I believe the Scouts truly learned empathy and awareness in regards to walking around school or living everyday life with a disability and the Scouts learned what it truly means to be helpful as the Scout Law states.”

Staff from Atlanta Public Schools and other regional educational centers were invited to take a tour of the school and see the FAR system at work. Burgess Peterson acts as a case study demonstrating how the FAR system benefits blind students, parents, and faculty in schools and universities.

To learn more, contact FAR at or 888.286.0075.