History and Advances in Accessible Indoor Wayfinding Technology


Presented at 10:00am in Virtual B on Friday, November 13, 2020.



  • Mike May, GoodMaps, Inc.

Session Details

  • Length of Session: 45 minutes
  • Format: Lecture
  • Expertise Level: Beginner
  • Type of session: Pre-conference


After 25 years, the latest indoor navigation and mapping are commercialized in airports, malls and large buildings. As Apple, Google and other smaller companies roll out indoor systems and making this information electronic, the cost and availability for people with disabilities becomes viable, evolving into seamless outdoor/indoor navigation.


The presentation will begin with a description of the indoor navigation problems faced by individuals with severe visual impairments. Next there will be an overview of the major accessible indoor wayfinding projects presently being conducted worldwide. We will also comment on the techniques used to search for target locations using beacon navigation apps, training required of users of beacon-based apps, and the wayfinding possibilities offered by wireless-based systems, the process known as fingerprinting. Finally, we will discuss emerging technologies such as Ultra-Wide Band (UWB), LED micro-navigation and the future potential of these new technologies.


  1. Overview of accessible indoor navigation evolution over the past 20 years and highlight the significance.
  2. Discuss the three major components of indoor navigation: Positioning, Mapping, and the User Interface.
  3. Demonstrate these components using three accessible indoor navigation systems as examples.

Disability Areas


Topic Areas

Assistive Technology, Institutional/Campus Change, Research, Uncategorized

Speaker Bio(s)

Mike May

Mike May is Chief Evangelist at Access Explorer. He is also founder Sendero Group, makers of the first accessible navigation products. He has been the principle investigator on several US federal grants as he works with numerous organizations to advance wayfinding technologies around the world. Mike May has been a pioneer in new product and business development since 1980. He has also worked for the CIA, Bank of California, TRW and Arkenstone.