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Inspiring future technologies for everyone

In 2013 Guide Dogs and Microsoft created a film entitled A Family Day Out. In the 15-minute film we meet Bill, who is blind, and see how he plans and carries out a day-trip from Reading to London for himself and his family in a future that's enabled for blind and partially-sighted people.
The film shows some of the approaches and technologies that might be available in the future to enable Bill in his task. There are five different phases to the film, based on research undertaken by Guide Dogs:

  • Plan and prepare: we see Bill at home preparing his journey using voice-activated on-line systems
  • Travel and disruption: Bill and his family take a bus and then a train to London, successfully navigating their way down busy streets, to the correct seats on the train and across crowded train concourses to the London Underground
  • Rich immersive experience: the family go round London's Natural History Museum together and learn about the creatures on display
  • Open space: the group enjoys a picnic in the park
  • Shopping and social: Bill buys a present for his wife Jenny before they all head back to Reading.

At the end of 2013, following the launch of the film, Guide Dogs and Microsoft teamed up with Future Cities Catapult to research and pilot some of the concepts displayed in the film, to prove their potential and added value. The Programme of work is called Cities Unlocked.
If you would like to find out more please contact - John Shelton - john.shelton@guidedogs.org.uk

A family day out

Microsoft Logo 140

In this film we follow a blind man, his 11 year old son and his partially sighted father-in-law on a family day out in London. The film demonstrates technology concepts that will greatly enhance the quality of life for blind and visually impaired people. These concepts provide the right information, in the right format and at the right time to remove moments of anxiety and provide an enriched mobility experience.

'Proof of Concept' mobility programme

Microsoft Logo 140

Guide Dogs has worked with Game Lab to develop a 'Proof of Concept' mobility programme to enhance and support mobility training for blind and partially sighted children. We used Kinect for Windows, which is a gesture based gaming technology. The game is fun to play as well as a serious mobility tool to be used by mobility instructors, parents and teachers to encourage children to practice and master core body movements that are essential for good mobility. The mobility tool will teach blind children to maximise the use of their senses systematically, how the parts of their bodies link up, spatial awareness, balance and coordination as well as how to find and improve their orientation.