Reimagining the way in which campus learning and living can be designed for blind and visually-impaired persons poses challenges, but U of M students are ready for it.

University of Michigan (U of M) Multidisciplinary Studies Program (MDP) has partnered with Vectorform to invent the Campus of the Future. Students from U of M’s MDP program will create an in-building, pedestrian navigation system for blind and visually-impaired persons. Students will design a system utilizing appropriate software, hardware, and devices to give students, faculty, staff, or visitors with low vision the ability to seamlessly navigate the dynamic Bob and Betty Beyster Building (BBB).

“The students and I are excited to be collaborating with Vectorform on this initiative that will prove impactful to many. Reimagining the way in which our campus learning and living can be designed for blind and visually-impaired persons poses challenges, but our students are ready for it” says U of M, Computer Science and Engineering Faculty, Dr. David Chesney. “Through the donation of materials for this project alongside their staffs’ mentorship, guidance, and time, Vectorform is helping to make the campus of the future a reality.”

The project spans a variety of disciplines — Mobile Development, Mapping & Beacon Technology, and User Interface Design — encouraging cross-collaboration and teamwork amongst undergraduate and graduate students. Students working on this project went through an application process and were selected by Dr. Chesney, and Vectorform Mentors, Jeff Meador, Director of Apple Technologies, Ann Kapusta, Director of Research, Development and Applied Sciences, and Corinne Rochkind, Vectorform Mentor.

“Through the donation of materials for this project alongside their staffs’ mentorship, guidance, and time, Vectorform is helping to make the campus of the future a reality,” says U of M, Computer Science and Engineering Faculty, Dr. David Chesney.

“Helping the students figure out how they’re going to solve this problem has been a pleasant reminder of the ways we can use technology for the greater good. Vectorform’s extensive experience with IoT, sensor and signal processing technologies has already proved useful while working towards a concept. Having gone through a similar design program myself, I’ve always wanted to give back to students in this way. The way in which the students are able to create something that could help so many people makes this a truly unique experience,” said Jeff Meador, Director of Apple Technologies at Vectorform.

Vectorform hosted students on February 8, 2017 to formally kick off the year-long project. Winter 2017 semester will be spent gathering requirements and building first approximations. Some, but not all, students will have the opportunity to work with Vectorform, and at U of M over the summer on the project, and final designs will then be implemented in the fall semester.

For more information on this project please visit the U of M, MDP website and check back to vectorform.com/news-and-views for updates.

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