Students from Košice Developed a Functional Navigation System for People with Visual Impairments

Modern technology and interactive exploration of the history can be now experienced at the “Rodošto” exposition in Kosice as the first of its kind in Slovakia. Thanks to the IoT solution, creative students and support of T-Systems Slovakia, Innovation Hub Kosice and EIT Health, MUSEUM ALONE has been officially launched at the East Slovak Museum on December 11, 2018.

Technology that helps

Three students of Technical University Košice – Veronika Matejova, Filip Hudzik, Marek Haluska came up with the idea to develop a navigation system for the interior in 2017 at the T-Systems Hackathon. “Within the topic HACK YOUR LIFE and the concept of a smart city we focused on people with visual impairments”, says Marek Haluska.

MUSEUM ALONE connects the past – history, the present and the future in the form of IoT solution. The title should evoke that also people with visual impairments can explore the museum as individual visitors in an interactive way”, says Veronika Matejova.

The Museum Alone works thanks to the location beacons which can define the location of the mobile in the interior via Bluetooth. Based on the location the mobile application can identify the exhibit the visitor is close to and describe it to the visitor. People can now explore the history with this application in an interactive way. The application can be used by all visitors of the museum, of course.

“It is a great opportunity to promote self-reliance and self-confidence among people with disabilities, thanks to smart technologies that are greatly facilitating their lives”, said Branislav Mamojka, chairman of the Slovak Blind and Partially Sighted Union.

The memorable moment was captured when cutting the ribbon by Robert Pollak, the director of East Slovak Museum (on the left), Rastislav Trnka, chairman of Kosice Region, Veronika Matejova, one of the authors of the project and Daniel Giebel, Managing Director of T-Systems Slovakia.

Support of T-SYSTEMS SLOVAKIA

T-Systems Slovakia offered these three creative students the opportunity to work on their solution and transform it into the final product. Thanks to the company, students could meet with people from The Slovak Blind and Partially Sighted Union who were also invited to cooperate at this project. People from the Union provided students with valuable and requirements from the people with visual impairments. The East Slovak Museum also cooperated at this project along the way by providing their exhibition “Rodosto” for the implementation of the product.

“The project demonstrates how IoT technologies can be used in the smart cities. The City of Kosice is now even closer to the concept of the smart city. In T-Systems Slovakia, we would like to continue in working with the academic community and in supporting and bringing innovative ideas which could be helpful for the people and the region, to life”, says Peter Breyl, Senior Project Manager at T-Systems Slovakia.

Veronika, Filip and Marek implemented their great innovative potential and IT knowledge in TELEKOM IT KOSICE, where they could develop their idea further and get advice and support from their colleagues when needed. Collaborative spirit, sharing culture and cultural development that has been ongoing in Telekom IT and supported by IT@MOTION initiative, enabled them to grow not only as future IoT experts but also as colleagues, whom we appreciate and love to work with.

“We came up with the idea in 24 hours at Hackathon. Then, the company offered us the full support in everything we needed – with financing the project, with the production itself and also with communication with all the institutions involved. It would be much more difficult for us to deal with all this as regular students and only by ourselves”, says Filip Hudzik, while showing the app to Juraj Girman, Vice President of TELEKOM IT KOSICE.

All three students are also an active members of CITY OF TEVELOPERS community that brings all developers in Telekom IT Kosice together to work on topics related to development and community building. City of Tevelopers also organizes CODERFEST annually – the event for university students and our development teams in order to create an opportunity to meet, discuss new trends and technologies, to show them what do we work on in T-Systems Slovakia and to give them a helping hand with their studies in form of consultancy. More to Come

More to Come…

We would be happy if our application could substitute a human guide for people with visual impairments one day. Our job is not done by delivering this one pilot solution. Our mission  is to continue in the development and lessons learned that we gained in this project. MUSEUM ALONE should not evoke that there are not that many visitors, but rather that every visitor can be autonomous, even the one with visual impairments. That is also what people from the Union wish for.

This success is also an awesome motivation for other colleagues – don’t be afraid to develop your creative potential further and to bring your life-changing ideas to life. Here in Kosice, we are really proud of our city and region we live in and we strive for the continuous improvement of this environment. However, none of that would be possible without the support from the managements as well as help from the teams of our colleagues in order to overcome any obstacles that might have appeared along the way. We are very lucky that we have both in Kosice.

The project was supported by the European Institute for Innovation and Technology in the Area of Healthy Lifestyle and Active Aging (EIT Health).

We Won Prize for Social Innovations!