Asda trials new map technology for visually impaired customers in partnership with GoodMaps

Asda is trialling new technology which will make it easier for blind customers to navigate through its Stevenage store, in partnership with smartphone app GoodMaps.

The service will integrate the Stevenage supermarket with the smartphone app, which has been designed for use among the blind and partially sighted. 

The app pinpoints a customer’s location to within a meter of accuracy, communicating directions to an area or object via audio, touch commands and enlarged visual cues. 

Shoppers will then be able to search for key landmarks within the store such as the tills, bathrooms and pharmacy and the app can also be used to look for specific items on the shelves.

The technology will launch on December 3, coinciding with the UN International Day of Persons with Disabilities and the store will be the first in the UK to use the GoodMaps app. 

READ MORE: Asda expands New Look partnership

“We strive to be an inclusive business and that includes making it easier for all of our customers to carry out a shop in one of our stores,” Asda inclusion manager Kane Stephenson said. 

“We hope that by working with GoodMaps we can understand how we can make the in-store experience better for our blind and partially sighted customers.

“Our Stevenage store is the ideal testing ground for this tool with it already being home to a number of tech trials including electronic shelf labels and holograms, and this trial will teach us how we can make shopping in Asda easier for customers with additional needs.’’

GoodMaps vice president Europe Neil Barnfather added: “Recognising not only the commercial value in providing an enhanced retail experience to shoppers, but, equally the ethical stance taken by Asda in this regard has been both humbling and demonstrative of a corporate culture determined to make their offering not only inclusive but truly outstanding for all.”

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