South Western Railway Trials Beacon App for Partially Sighted Passengers

South Western Railway in Southern England is using the myEyes app to guide partially sighted users to assistance boarding points at stations. The app provides audio directions to guide passengers from the station entrance to Assisted Boarding Points on platforms.

A confusing article on the South Western Railway site attempts to explain how it works. It says “the myEyes app uses Near Field Technology to guide customers with sight loss around stations”. This isn’t true because Near Field Technology (NFC) isn’t used. It uses a smartphone’s GPS to know the passenger has reached a station and then Bluetooth beacons within the station. The article says “Bluetooth beacons installed across the station track the device in question”. This also isn’t true because it’s the wrong way around. The smartphone detects the beacons to know a passenger’s location.

A video is available showing the app being used.