It’s amazing to think that ten years have gone by since five people working at Hewlett-Packard’s Research and Development Labs got together to form Calvium. We’ve come a long way in that time and in this interview our Managing Director Jo Reid takes a look back at where we’ve come from, where we are and where we’re going.
As part of the National Gallery’s Research Centre Seminar series, the Gallery recently unveiled Hidden Florence 3D: San Pier Maggiore — a digital placemaking AR project that reunites the altarpiece panels with the church they were created to adorn. People are able to see the large polyptic in its ‘original location’, walk through the church itself and understand the relationship between Jacopo di Cione’s paintings and one of the most important religious institutions of Renaissance Florence.
Calvium has lead this Innovate UK funded project to develop a mobile wayfinding system to help people with less-visible impairments to navigate railway stations independently and with confidence.
In partnership with Transport for London (TfL), Open Inclusion and Connected Places Catapult we shall deliver a digital wayfinding solution that has inclusion at its heart. By bringing together this team of specialists, Calvium has ensured that NavSta (Navigating Stations) has the greatest chance of becoming an integral part of the travelling public’s wayfinding toolkit.
Wayfinding allows people to orient themselves within a given space, allowing them to understand where they are currently, where their destination is and how to reach it. This can be done through signals like signs, maps and graphics applied to the environment. Indoor wayfinding presents a different set of challenges, especially when it comes to mapping them digitally.
User-centred design is a product development process that puts the end-user at the heart of the project. This means gaining an understanding of who they are — their wants, their problems and their perspectives — and then creating solutions tailored to those needs. When products are designed from their target user’s eyes, they are more likely to be embraced.
People with physical and mental differences face a host of barriers that reduce their quality of life by limiting their participation in social, political, cultural and economic life. It can be difficult to move around familiar neighbourhoods let alone strange places. For example, those with mobility impairments often can’t fully enjoy public spaces due to uneven surfaces, visually-impaired people can’t access everyday wayfinding information, and people with less visible disabilities often find crowded place to be a sensory minefield. This is the situation, and it is unacceptable.
The Rail Delivery Group (RDG) held its fifth Stations Summit this month (10th October) at Grand Station, Wolverhampton. This year’s conference revolved around the development of stations as transport interchanges within thriving communities. Our Executive Chairman, Richard Hull, attended; he gives us his key takeaways.
Today, over a billion children are growing up in cities. By 2030, UN-HABITAT estimates that 60% of the world’s urban population will be under the age of 18. Cities today, however, rarely provide ideal living conditions for young people. This is a huge problem when we stop to consider how this demographic will dominate the urban population within the next decade.
The UK high street is in the midst of a deepening crisis. Store closures officially overtook store openings in 2015 and the trend continues today. The first half of 2019 alone saw some 3,000 stores shutting down. The UK is not alone, as failing high streets can be seen across Europe and the US.
Today, 55% of the world’s population lives in urban areas. By 2050, the UN predicts this number will go up to 68%, adding 2.5 billion more people to urban areas. While urbanisation brings with it a host of benefits, it does put a strain on a city’s transportation and mobility systems resulting in traffic congestion, inadequate public transport and unsafe roads. These are huge challenges that many urban areas today just don’t have the resources to properly address.
Sustainability is recognised as a vital issue for people, businesses and governments, globally. To secure the planet for all of our futures, digital technology can provide support and solutions to some of the challenges we face; ranging from city-scale infrastructure to apps that help individuals find greener ways of living and sharing within…