The App to map and avoid architectural barriers becomes reality. An innovative Florence-based startup behind the project.

Its name is Kimap and it will contribute to enhance the mobility of persons with disabilities through their smartphones. This is how it works.

Kimap: a true digital ecosystem composed of an IoT device and a community of users sharing the same experiences and difficulties. The aim is to enable persons with disabilities to avoid every kind of barrier and to help them reach their final destination as quickly as possible, dodging traps and obstacles that constitute an everyday odyssey of one disabled person out of two. The project was conceived by Kinoa, a Florence-based startup, whose mission is Big Data and Internet of Things technology integration.

The APP is the key element of the entire Kimap digital ecosystem. It is designed as a navigator where users can easily and intuitively set the quality level of the road as a parameter for selecting the best way to take, thus avoiding disconnected routes or high steps. Simultaneously, the app can get the necessary information to classify urban and extra-urban accessibility in detail. Thanks to advanced geolocation systems the app constantly updates the database, collecting real-time information on changes related to roads accessibility and pavements practicability.

The IoT device – The Kimap project features the building of an Iot prototype which, if installed on a wheelchair, further enhances the precision level of the mapping activity. The device incorporates an innovative geolocation chip able to receive and elaborate data on the position from all available satellites constellations. The device performs its functions thanks to the algorithms developed by the startup research team together with the SoBigData research laboratory at CNR in Pisa.

The Community – The Kimappers are the ecosystem’s protagonists: these are the users who will contribute to automatically update the maps by using the app. A small army which anyone can join –  thanks to the network of local associations dealing with disabilities – promoting or taking part in participatory mapping events. Disabled citizens, local institutions, families and schools could either contribute to mapping the barriers of a specific area or share easy and nice routes they have become aware of.

Next steps – The Kimap project is about to become fully operative. On 1 March, the alpha version of the app was released and the research team has been already collecting data on the accessibility of selected areas in Florence. Next step will be to further develop the app through the extension of the experimentation to a larger scale, relying on already existing collaborations with associations for persons with disabilities in Tuscany and Italy.

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