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 – https://hypepotamus.com/companies/foresight-augmented-reality/


Eye on Accessibility event held in Decatur Square

Foresight Augmented Reality (FAR) hosted the first annual ‘Eye on Accessibility’ event in Decatur Square on September 10, 2017. The event was held to raise awareness and celebrate the City of Decatur’s adoption of the FAR system in the city’s buildings, including the Police Station, City Hall and area Rec Centers.

Despite an impending hurricane and high winds, the event was well attended by participants eager to learn more about the new system.

Demonstrations and information were provided by FAR and other industry groups,

The event featured fun for the whole family and a raffle benefiting the Center for the Visually Impaired (CVI). Raffle winners were able to walk away with incredible prizes, including signed jerseys from Atlanta Hawks Mike Muscala and Atlanta Falcon Morten Andersen.

Watch videos from the event on the FAR YouTube channel:


Foresight Augmented Reality to host Eye on Accessibility September 10 from 1:00-4:00 pm

Event in Decatur Square to feature music, games and prizes

(DECATUR, GA. – August 21, 2017) – On September 10, 2017, Foresight Augmented Reality (FAR) and the City of Decatur will host Eye on Accessibility, a festival in the Decatur Square, to highlight and celebrate the continuing progress toward making greater Atlanta completely accessible to the blind and visually impaired.

In recent months, several businesses and landmarks in Decatur have been transformed into FAR-accessible locations, easily navigable via the FAR Vision mobile app, which provides descriptive information to aid the visually impaired. In the spirit of raising awareness for assistive technologies for the blind and visually impaired, FAR employees and volunteers will be on hand at the event to provide demonstrations of the app for anyone interested.

“We’ve reached a day where the visually impaired can go out on the town, or go to the gym, or explore the many great things their community has to offer with minimal assistance,” said Foresight co-founder and CEO Tara Williams. “What better way to celebrate that freedom than to bring the community together out on the square in Decatur, the first FAR-accessible neighborhood of hopefully many more to come in the Atlanta area.”

The September 10 event will feature a DJ, interactive games, a blind sports demonstration by the Georgia Blind Sports Association, prizes and more. The event is free and open to the public.

In addition to the Georgia Blind Sports Association, several other local advocacy groups will be in attendance, including National Beep Baseball Association, the National Federation of the Blind, Center for the Visually Impaired, the Georgia Radio Reading Service and Emory Eye Center.Foresight Augmented Reality was founded in 2016 in Atlanta, GA with the goal of creating smarter communities. FAR’s beacons provide compliance beyond ADA requirements for businesses looking to support those with vision-related disabilities. According to the National Foundation for the Blind, there are 7.3 million visually impaired people living in the USA. For more information, visit www.ForesightAR.com and download the FAR Vision app for iPhone, iPad or Android devices.

Decatur installs Bluetooth beacons for visually impaired downtown

Decatur has partnered with Atlanta-based Foresight Augmented Reality to install Bluetooth beacons for the visually impaired on five downtown buildings. The beacons, when paired with the company’s mobile app gives, among other things, vocal directions to specific rooms, restrooms and elevators, along with descriptive information of entrances, exits, and hazard warnings.

There are currently 65 beacons installed throughout city hall, the visitors’ center, the police station, both recreation centers and also on various locations throughout the square. Each is about two by two inches and placed on or near a doorway.

The city pays a subscription of $6,000 a year to FAR, which maintains the beacons if damaged or stolen. The app is available on Apple and Android.

According to Downtown Development Manager Catherine Lee, phase one of the project is complete and fully functioning. Phase two gets implemented sometime next year and will include beacons at each fire station, the public works building and eventually local businesses like restaurants.

FAR was founded in 2016 and according to its website there are 7.3 million visually impaired people in the U.S.

Credit: Atlanta Journal Constitution (AJC)

City of Decatur teams up with Foresight Augmented Reality to help visually impaired

Foresight Augmented Reality is teaming up with the city of Decatur in an effort to make public spaces in the city more accessible to the visually impaired.

The city will become the company’s first FAR-accessible city.

The company’s beacons provide additional information to people who can’t see well or who are blind. The beacons will be deployed in seven of the city’s public spaces. There will be 65 beacons in all. They will be placed at Decatur City Hall, the Decatur Police Department, the Ebster Recreation Center, the Decatur Recreation Center, the Decatur Visitors Center, the Decatur Square Community Bandstand and the Decatur Transit Station plaza.

“Transforming a business into a FAR-accessible one includes the installation of a Bluetooth beacon, that when paired with the FAR Vision mobile app, provides users with descriptive information such as entrances and exits, restrooms, hazard warnings and more,” the announcement says.

To see videos of FAR in action, click here.

“This project opens a lot of doors for the visually impaired community in Decatur and the surrounding area,” Foresight co-founder and CEO Tara Williams said in the announcement. “With the FAR Vision mobile app, more people can access many of the great features the city of Decatur has to offer. We hope this movement continues to build momentum until the entire Atlanta area is accessible for the blind and visually impaired.”

Mayor Patti Garrett said the project fits with Decatur’s goals of being a more inclusive city.

“One of the goals in our 2016 Better Together Community Action Plan for Equity, Inclusion and Engagement is to support community participation and engagement among all members of the city’s population,” she said in the announcement. “Making city buildings more readily accessible to the blind and visually impaired allows us to reach and include a broader spectrum of community members in city life.”

Credit: Decaturish

Foresight Augmented Reality Celebrates the Completion of its Pilot with Sixthman Festivals At Sea

Together, We #Gofar! Is The Motto Of This Remarkable Company Who Is Letting The Blind See

Foresight Augmented Reality (FAR) has announced the successful completion of their first deployment on a cruise ship and music festival. The company provides a technology solution to help people who are blind or visually impaired to better navigate and understand their environments. They just completed a pilot test of their solution on Norwegian Cruise Line during five Sixthman Festivals at Sea. These five festivals have been exciting and thrilling for the attendants, and the FAR team is extremely pleased with the results of the pilot.

“We are helping businesses to become visually impaired-friendly, enabling greater independence and access for their customers through our smart technologies.” Said Tara Williams, the Co-Founder and CEO of FAR. “We are excited about the completion of our pilot and continuing to expand the reach of the FAR Solution to more visually impaired users.” She added.

The FAR Solution can already be found in a wide range of businesses from restaurants to salons to office buildings. The applications for this system are immeasurable.

The five Sixthman festivals in the FAR pilot are not only exciting but also one of a kind experience for those who attend. These include The Rock Boat, Sail Across the Sun, Cayamo, Outlaw Country Cruise and 311 Caribbean Cruise. Sixthman is known for creating festivals at sea that are designed to make every event memorable. The company has been organizing these great and adventurous festivals since 2001 and is nearing its goal of taking 1 million people on vacation.

The tagline for this amazing event at sea is ‘Together, we #GoFAR!’ and there is no limit to how far they can go. The response has been tremendous with visually impaired and blind users thanking FAR for their amazing aids and services which have turned out to be life changing for them and their families. The cause of FAR is noble, and highlights how technology can be used effectively to augment physical limitations. The dedicated team of professionals working at FAR make the impossible possible, living up to its motto of dedication in service to the fullest. More details are available on the FAR website, http://foresightar.com.