Arianna is a project of In.sight s.r.l., a young start-up company founded in 2015 as spin-off of the University of Palermo, Italy. Arianna is a flexible, low-cost navigation system, which can be used in any indoor environment (airports, museums, hospitals, shopping malls) and outdoor (stations, sidewalks, etc.). Arianna uses commercial smartphones to provide high precision localization services against a simple and cheap infrastructure composed of colored paths painted or stuck on the floor (much cheaper than tactile pavements). Through special vibrational signals the user receives feedback for correcting his/her direction. Landmarks can be deployed along the path for coding additional information.
Arianna (the Italian name of the Greek mythology Ariadne) allows the visually impaired, blind or people with other disabilities, to move autonomously. Social integration greatly improves by allowing higher independence and autonomous mobility, factors that are a basis for active involvement in the society. The set of potential users for these systems is far to be a niche: according to the estimates from the World Health Organization, people with vision problems are 285 million in the world and considering the gradual aging of the population, this number should further increase.
The Arianna system has been entirely designed by the In.sight team and a patent have been submitted about it. It offers two main services to visually impaired people: the guiding service, for allowing the users to follow the trace deployed in the environment; the navigation service, for finding directions towards a given destination on the trace maps and retrieve other location-based information. Up to now, there is no system that can simultaneously offer guiding services and navigation for the blind. The Arianna system aims to offering these services through an innovative mobile APP (completely free). The Arianna infrastructure is simple and easy to be modified. In the future, Arianna will be used to offer new location-based services dedicated to visually impaired, such as:
• Audio guide and information related to the places (tourism, real time news, events, etc.)
• Real time tracking for on-line assistance
• Location based services, with generation and management of user-generated content
• Dedicated social networking
• Target advertising
Finally, Arianna is able to be customized to the environment in which it is installed, with an ad-hoc design and service adaptation. For example, in museum installations, Arianna can integrate a navigation system and an audio-guide for tourist information.
The Arianna project has been presented in many international exhibitions and conferences, reaching good visibility in the medias, and a patent have been submitted about it. Arianna won the StartCup Palermo 2014 award, qualifying as the best innovative business idea in Sicily, and the UK-Trade & Investment award by the British consulate. In 2015 the company won a grant from the FIWARE FI-C3 accelerator of the EU (www.fic3.eu), has been selected for representing Sicilian start-up companies at EXPO 2015, Milan, was finalist in the Vodafone Foundation challenge “Think for social”, the Best Practices Award 2015 in Salerno, Italy, and has participated in few TV shows, with good visibility in the medias.
In.sight, whose motto is “enhancing senses through technology”, has already completed a first pilot installation of Arianna in the Alps, for a naturalistic trail in Massello (close to Turin), and is opening other two pilots in Sicily.
Adding user directional information and dynamic information based on user directional
With Family Sharing set up, up to six family members can use this app.