Digital mile-markers provide navigation in cities

Springwise: “UK-based Maynard Design Consultancy has developed a system to help people navigate the changing landscape of city neighbourhoods. A prototype of a wayfinding solution for districts in London combines smart physical markers and navigational apps. The physical markers, inspired by traditional mile markers, include a digital screen. They provide real-time information, including daily news and messages from local businesses. The markers also track how people use the park, providing valuable information to the city and urban planners. The partnering apps provide up-to-date information about the changing environment in the city, such as on-going construction and delays due to large-scale events.

Unlike traditional, smartphone based navigational apps, this concept uses technology to help us reconnect with our surroundings, Maynard Design said.

The proposal won the Smart London District Challenge competition set by the Institute for Sustainability. Maynard is currently looking for partner companies to pilot its concept.

Takeaway: The Maynard design represents the latest efforts to use smartphones to amplify public safety announcements, general information and local businesses. The concept moves past traditional wayfinding markers to link people to a smart-city grid. By tracking how people use parks and other urban spaces, the markers will provide valuable insight for city officials. We expect more innovations like this as cities increasingly move toward seamless communication between services and city residents, aided by smart technologies. Over the past several months, we have seen technology to connect drivers to parking spaces and a prototype pavement that can change functions based on people’s needs….(More)”