Step-Hear ® APS Application for Traffic Intersections 

Crossing bustling streets can be a daunting task for sighted pedestrians; for those who are blind it can be life-threatening. Accessible Pedestrian Signals (APS) provide information to pedestrians about the location of the intersection, which direction to cross, when to cross and how to get to the other side safely.

Step-Hear ™  APS application offers the blind and visually impaired extra safety, confidence and independence when crossing a street. Together with Prisma Teknik AB (Sweden), a leading supplier of APS systems in Europe, we are able to offer a practical solution for traffic intersections. 

The Step-Hear ®  APS application will allow for pedestrians to:

  • Know the bearings of the traffic intersection and orientating themselves accordingly.
  • Be guided to the desired crossing.
  • Receive audio information regarding street names in the intersection.
  • Remotely activate the APS system, prompting the system to speed up the changing of the pedestrian light to green (instead of having to find a button to press). 
  • Cross the road safely.

Step-Hear has been integrated with the Prisma Teknik (Sweden) APS System

 

 

How Does It Work?

  • The wrist activator has 3 buttons on it; each triggering a different function.
  • When a person gets close to a traffic intersection, in which there is an APS unit with the Step Hear module inside, the wrist activator begins to vibrate and beep notifying that a Step Hear module is nearby. 
  • Pressing button number 1 on the activator will remotely activate the APS prompting the system to speed up the changing of the pedestrian light to green. At the same time the volume level of the APS will turn to the maximum level so that its ticking sound is easily heard by the user. 
  • Pressing button number 2 on the wrist activator will activate a pre-recorded announcement coming out of all APS units in the intersection, indicating for example the name of the streets in this intersection.
  • Pressing button number 3 on the wrist activator will activate a second pre-recorded announcement coming out of all APS units in the intersection, indicating for example important sites located nearby.


The Noise Pollution Challenge

In many cities the APS systems are switched into a silent mode in order to minimize noise pollution, especially in residential neighborhoods. Turning the system into a silent position can be done at night when residents require a silent environment, and also during the day, when the pedestrian red light is on. However this may cause great inconvenience for blind and visually impaired people, who wish to cross the intersection at night or find the APS unit when the red light is on, but cannot do so safely when the system has been switched to silent mode. The Step-Hear ™ system combined with the Prizma Teknik APS system solves this problem. As described above, pressing button number 1 on the wrist activator will also turn on the APS system and shift it from a silent mode to an active mode for several minutes, enabling the user to cross the intersection safely. After the defined time, the system will switch back again to a silent mode.

The Step-Hear APS application may be integrated into existing APS systems world-wide.