Cassie Hames – a software programmer from Adelaide who is legally blind – has an idea for an app that would revolutionise public transport for people who are blind or have low vision. With the support of investors and industry groups, she’s bringing it to life.
Hames knows all too well the difficulties of navigating public transport as a person who is vision impaired.
“[It] was an organic idea based on my own experiences – and the experiences of many in the blind community – using public transport independently,” she says. “Going out into the community shouldn’t be less of an experience from one person to the next, regardless of ability, disability, or anything else.”
The app, See Me, allows users to use their smartphone to alert bus drivers of their presence at a bus stop, ensuring that they’re not missed on the route. The app also alerts users travelling by bus of upcoming stops, alleviating anxiety and allowing them to travel more independently.
“As a frequent public transport user, I wanted to develop a solution that increases accessibility for all people, so that everyone can feel comfortable, confident, and safe catching the bus. See Me ensures no one is left behind,” Hames explains.
iMOVE CRC, the national centre for collaborative transport research and development, have invested $500,000 in See Me – an injection of funding that will pave the way for national trials across Australia. Managing Director Ian Christensen said: “The See Me app is more than just technology – it’s a beacon of hope for countless vision impaired individuals navigating our urban spaces.”
“The See Me app stands out as a testament to what’s possible when innovation meets necessity.”
The app will be trialled on the Adelaide Metro bus network before a wider trial rolls out in South Australia, Queensland, and New South Wales this year. It will be available for iOS and Android via the app stores soon. Find out more with Hames’s explainer video on YouTube, and follow iMOVE CRC for updates.