It would be great to be able to go around without bumping into any architectonical barrier, wouldn’t it? Unfortunately, it’s impossible to make this dream come true in a short while. Then, what do we have to do? Accepting the status quo and wait for a magic wand to remove all the obstacles or doing something concrete? The Kimap creators chose the second option.
What’s Kimap? It’s an “anti-barriers” digital ecosystem, made up by an app for smartphones (that will soon be available both for Android and IOS devices) helping to map the architectonical barriers and serve as a “barrier-free” GPS, helping people with disability to easily move along the mapped paths, a user-friendly IoT (Internet of Things) device, that improves the results of mapping, keeping them constantly up-to-date, and a community of users that confirm or update live le info obtained through the mapping process. Kimap has been promoted and designed by Kinoa, an innovative start-up founded one year ago to design innovative products integrating Big Data and Internet of Things technologies.
A few days ago, in Florence, the Kimap creators organized the first “live”mapping of the city, companioning with the kimapper Armando Dei, who covered on his wheelchair some strategic points of the city both for tourists and citizens moving for business, study and other reasons. The mapping involved: the Campo di Marte railway station, Piazza Beccaria towards the old town centre and the Sant’Ambrogio market; via Maragliano, piazza San Jacopino and Viale Redi, Ponte Vecchio, Piazza Pitti, Santo Spirito and Piazza del Carmine.
The mapping allowed to obtain various maps in real time, directly stored on the kimapper’ smartphone. They assess the architectonical barriers using three colours: the green dots indicate a street with a good accessibility level; the yellow ones indicate small obstacles and minimum risk of vibrations during the path; finally, the red dots indicate a sign of primary risk registered by very strong vibrations of the wheelchair and by obstacles and stairs hard to overcome. Moreover, black is used to mark “not-accessible” roads, that cannot be safely covered due to the lack of sidewalks and/or a very damaged asphalt. Using the Kimap app, the user can also point out other temporary obstacles, building sites and slopes that are hard to face.
The Kimap project has just started and the team is still working on the app and on the device improvement. After Florence, real time mappings will be carried out in other cities, companioning with associations, universities and local administrations. It’s gonna be a long and complex job, but the premises to success are excellent. Good luck, Kimap!