A new mobile text-to-speech service called Tågprator makes it simpler for visually impaired people to travel by train in Sweden. Tågprator reads out traffic information both before and during the journey.
The new service has been developed by HiQ and commissioned by the Swedish Transport Administration.
Many major railway stations are equipped with so called “talking points”. These computer terminals are designed for users who have a range of functional impairments. However, because visually impaired travellers have had difficulties in locating these “talking points”, the Swedish Transport Administration decided to invest in a new mobile solution.
“The focus when creating this new app has been simplicity – finding functionality that is handy for those who control their phones by voice command and receive information through text-to-speech services. For people with impaired vision, it is important with a clear and uncluttered design,” says Elin Dahlgren, project manager at the Transport Administration.
“We’re proud to have earned the Transport Administration’s trust – and equally proud of the new service. The ability to travel and get to where you need to be is essential for anyone who wants to participate in society,” says Jerker Lindstén, Managing Director of HiQ Gothenburg.
The Tågprator app enables rail travellers to search and find the times of all train departures and arrivals, together with details of the departure and arrival platforms, as well as information about delays, cancelled trains and replacement buses. A reference group from the Swedish Association of the Visually Impaired (SRF) has contributed with both requirements and testing during the development project.
“It has been important to work in close collaboration with the target group. We are happy to contribute in making rail travel in Sweden simpler and safer for visually impaired people – and for everyone who prefers to have travel information read out aloud,” Lindstén says.
HiQ has extensive experience of producing digital solutions with the focus on accessibility. In recent years HiQ has developed solutions such as Tidning för alla and ResLedaren, which in their different ways simplify everyday life for people with a range of functional impairments.
“Our passion is to simplify and improve people’s day-to-day lives – to use technology to add value. This is yet another example of how digitalisation creates opportunities to make a positive difference for people,” says Lars Stugemo, CEO and President of HiQ.
The Tågprator service was launched on 1 March and can be downloaded HERE