A Helpful App for Blind Subway Riders

A mobile app and guidance system concept called Lantern may one day help blind New Yorkers navigate the city’s convoluted subway system. The app works by communicating with bottle cap-sized beacons located around a subway platform, directing users to nearby turnstiles and notifying them if they come too close to a platform’s edge. The idea was conceived by Eugene Gao, a New York-based copywriter who envisioned the navigation app after watching a blind passenger find his way around the subway. “I closed my eyes, taking in the sounds, smells and I tried to imagine what it’d be like to ride the subway blind,” he explains. “The thought scared me.”