‘Talking’ Braille maps help the visual impaired

Talking pen technology, combined with tactile maps, allows blind people to more easily make their way around BART stations in the Bay Area.

June 12, 2013 |
Life at HOK
Way back in 2011, I wrote about a volunteer effort that involved some of us at HOK SF: documenting BART stations around the Bay Area to create “talking” tactile maps for the blind.
Conducted under the guidance of Lighthouse for the Blind, this effort was a great learning experience in terms of how the blind navigate complex spaces that the rest of us take for granted (transit hubs, malls.. the list goes on). It was also a great look at how technology is being harnessed to aid the differently abled. These maps have raised symbols for important navigational landmarks like escalators and stairs overlaid on a simple outline of BART stations.

About the Author: Aditya Oruganti offers his perspectives on the beautiful city of San Francisco and the goings-on of HOK's SF office. When he's not working, Adi likes to read and travel. Read more posts by Aditya Oruganti.
Life at HOK | Life at HOK

HOK is a global design, architecture, engineering and planning firm. Through a network of 24 offices, HOK provides design excellence and innovation to create places that enrich people's lives and help clients succeed. Life at HOK is a group blog authored by the firm’s creative people across the world. Visit hoklife.com.

Related Blogs

January 06, 2015

Technology is transforming the guest experience and enabling designers to reimagine a new hospitality-orien...

read more

Photo: HOK

December 28, 2014

Taking a cue from the hospitality industry, airport executives are seeking to make their facilities feel mo...

read more

Photo: HOK

November 17, 2014

During the past five years, the worlds of hospitality and corporate real estate have undergone an incredibl...

read more

Walter Reed National Military Medical Center Healing Garden. Rendering: HOK

October 13, 2014

I have spent the last several months writing about healthy workplaces. My research lately has focused on st...

read more

Photo: HOK

September 09, 2014

As part of our ongoing studies of how building design influences human behavior in today’s social media-dri...

read more

Photo: HOK

August 16, 2014

New technology and changing pedagogies are influencing how to best teach a generation of learners who have...

read more

Photo: courtesy HOK

August 05, 2014

A report from Deloitte highlighted how driverless cars could dramatically alter car ownership in the future...

read more

In a new report, HOK and Biomimicry 3.8 partnered to study how lessons from the temperate broadleaf forest biome, which houses many of the worlds largest population centers, can inform the design of the built environment.

May 19, 2014

In a new report, HOK and Biomimicry 3.8 partnered to study how lessons from the temperate broadleaf forest...

read more

The William Jefferson Clinton Childrens Center (WJCCC) in Port-au-Prince is designed to replace an orphanage severely damaged in the 2010 earthquake. HOKs Thomas Knittel took inspiration from the kapok tree, a native Caribbean species that stores water internally and sheds its leaves in times of drought.

January 30, 2014

It’s not enough to copy nature. Today’s designers need a deeper understanding of environmental nuance, from...

read more

Virtual collaboration tools have come a long way

October 30, 2013

For a while now companies have been advised that flexibility is a key component to a successful workplace s...

read more

Add new comment

Your Information
Your Comment

Filtered HTML

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.
Overlay Init