[Loadstone] FW: [vip_students] Fw: Free satnav developed for the blind.

monty at loadstone-gps.com monty at loadstone-gps.com
Sun Nov 23 20:08:51 GMT 2008


Since I was the one who was interviewed for the Times article I'll give 
you my thoughts...

The article was full of inaccuracies which was slightly perplexing as the 
full story as it were was disclosed during the interview.  Notably the 
fact that Loadstone is a community colaboration chiefly developed by a 
core development team rather than one person's efforts as implied by the 
author.  Also the development time-line was made very clear to the 

So other than the fact thatthe the article lacked some of the facts, I'm 
happy the project got a sizable piece written about it on page 9 of a 
world-renound news paper and more people can learn about Loadstone and how 
it might be able to help.  Perhaps it can also help generate interest in 
much welcomed sponsorship!

On a related note, I was able to tell the Loadstone story in my own words 
on Insight Radio a couple of days after the Times article.  I was able to 
set the record straight and credit the team and discuss the evelution of 
the project.

We hope to make the article and radio interview available on our articles 
page shortly.

Best regards,

On Fri, 21 Nov 2008, LaMcAs wrote:

> Well what do you think of this?
> Has anyone else come across this article?
> Larry & Elliot GD
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Derek Hornby" <derek.hornby_uk at btopenworld.com>
> To: <access-uk at freelists.org>
> Sent: Sunday, November 16, 2008 5:14 PM
> Subject: [access-uk] Free satnav developed for the blind.
> Hi All
> The following appeared in The Sunday Times 16 November 2008
> Free satnav developed for the blind.
> By Mark Macaskill
> A BLIND man has developed a free satellite navigation system for the
> visually impaired that can guide them around any city in Britain by
> giving them instructions on their mobile phone, writes Mark
> Macaskill.
> The technology, similar to that used by in-car satnav devices, can be
> used to locate buildings, bus stops, tube stations, cashpoints and
> taxi ranks as well as navigating streets.
> Monty Lilburn, 33, from Glasgow, who is blind, created the mapping
> software as an alternative to conventional GPS devices.
> His system, Loadstone, can be downloaded free of charge from the
> internet and has won plaudits from Nokia, the mobile phone company,
> and the Royal National Institute for the Blind (RNIB).
> Blind and partially sighted people are able to navigate by wearing a
> GPS transmitter, roughly the size of a matchbox, which pinpoints
> their position and communicates with the mobile phone via Bluetooth
> radio technology.
> When the co-ordinates or postcode of the desired destination are
> entered, the phone "speaks" directions to the user.Instructions are
>>>> given, including the distance needed to travel before taking a turn,
> and a series of beeps indicates when the destination has been reached.
> The system uses information from sources such as Traveline, a
> partnership of transport operators and local authorities, which
> provided GPS co-ordinates for every bus stop, tube station and ferry
> terminal in Britain.
> However, the software will not replace a guide dog or a white stick,
> because it is unable to detect obstacles.
> The system, which is used in conjunction with the new generation of
> digital phone, is expected to become hugely popular.
> There are 2m people in Britain who are visually impaired and some 37m
> worldwide.
> Lilburn's invention will be officially unveiled in Edinburgh next
> week as part of an international technology seminar.
> "It gives people much greater freedom and best of all it's relatively
> inexpensive," says Lilburn. "When you're in a taxi, for example, you
> can be confident that you're being taken on the shortest route."
> Alison Long, of the RNIB, said: "This software goes a long way to
> providing some people with the independence they so desperately want.
> The fact that it's been developed by blind people for blind people
> makes it particularly special."
> Mark Palmer, a consultant with User Vision, an Edinburgh-based IT
> consultancy, which will showcase Lilburn's technology, said: "This
> has the potential to change a blind person's life."

More information about the Loadstone mailing list