5G Labs Demonstrates PERCEPT to the attendees of the 2015 Association of Travel Instruction Conference

On August 14th the 5G Mobile Evolution Lab demonstrated the PERCEPT System to the attendees of the 2015 Association of Travel Instruction (ATI) Conference held in Boston Massachusetts. The Association of Travel Instruction is a national professional association composed of travel training instructors and travel trainers who teach seniors and individuals with disabilities to utilize public transit safely and independently.

The live demonstration took place in the Arlington Subway Station, located just outside the Boston Public Gardens. For the demonstration PERCEPT provided wayfinding instructions from the wheelchair accessible entrance of Arlington Station, located on street level, all the way to the outbound track two floor levels below.

PERCEPT successfully guided the group attendees to the Outbound Platform. Along the route there were several intentional attempts at going the wrong way and PERCEPT always provided the correct rerouting navigation instructions to put the group back on track.

The feedback provided by the attendees of the demonstration was positive and many of the attendees were excited by the demonstration. There were a number of important topics brought up during the demonstration and the demonstration attendees were thrilled to hear that PERCEPT:

  • can function with all its features without any internet connection,
  • using the PERCEPT app a person can go over their route before even being at the station, enabling them to gain a better mental map of the new environment,
  • infrastructure installed in the environment is cost effective and requires no retrofitting of electricity
  • all blind and visually impaired subjects were able to use PERCEPT to independently traverse Arlington station.

In addition attendees of the demonstration were impressed by the level of detail the navigation instructions provided by the PERCEPT system, especially given that the instructions were 100% generated by a computer that follows a set of rules defined by Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialists(COMS). During the demonstration it was brought up that given the level of detail of the instructions that they could be used not only to assist those who are blind or visually impaired but could be used by people with other disabilities.

ATI attendees stand outside Alrington Station listening to Larry Haile, Charlene Sanderson, and James Schafer discuss about PERCEPT
James Schafer is demonstrating how to scan NFC tag located at the entrance at Arlington Station
ATI attendees arrived at the outbound platform in Alrington station following the PERCEPT navigation instructions

Acknowledgement: 5G Labs would like to thank our sponsors Massachusetts Department of Transportation(MassDOT), the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority (MBTA), the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and collaborators Larry Haile, Travel Trainer Central Maryland Regional Transit (CMART), Charlene Sanderson COMS at Massachusetts Commission for the Blind(MCB), Carole Wilson, COMS at MCB, Meg Robertson, Director of COMS MCB, and Laura Brelsford, Assistant General Manager System Wide Accessibility MBTA.