A train and bus station in Sydney’s lower North Shore is opening up its Bluetooth beacon network to innovators to develop new ways to make catching public transport easier.
Transport for NSW (TfNSW) is now accepting submissions to find new uses for the beacon network established at Chatswood Station and bus interchange, as part of the department's ‘Future Transport Beacon Innovation Challenge’.
The beacon network is currently being used as part of a trial to help customers with vision impairments to navigate between trains, buses and places of interest in and around the interchange.
It does this by sending location signals via Bluetooth to mobile phones which then gives their owners audio cues.
According to TfNSW deputy secretary customer service Tony Braxton-Smith, the department is hoping that this new initiative will “focus the brightest minds in technology to showcase what is possible using Bluetooth beacons.”
“We’re always looking for new ways to deliver better information, products and services to our customers and we want to work closely with the technology industry and entrepreneurs to see what they can come up with,” Braxton-Smith said in a statement.
He sees other potential uses for the beacon network, such as providing customers with information about incoming train services, local attractions, or directions from train platforms to bus terminals for connecting trips.
Proposals are now being accepted, and applicants have until 2 September to enter.
The best submissions will earn access to the trial beacon network from 10 October to 13 November. If these concepts prove successful, applicants will be invited to a live demo day to showcase the concepts to a panel of TfNSW leaders.