A digital journey assistant will soon offer a “virtual hand-hold” to people who feel anxious or need a little help getting about the Tube network.
Kensington-based start-up Zipabout has developed an app for those prone to getting stressed on trains and buses, or who have hidden disabilities. The team has also built a standalone pager-sized gadget for older adults with conditions such as dementia. It works underground using low-power radio signals instead of the mobile network.
Zipabout, which will be free to access after NHS trials, includes many of the same functions as other route planners, but takes subtle action if it senses the user is feeling anxious or confused.
The software crunches information ranging from TfL data to Met Office weather forecasts to tell the user if they are on the wrong platform or walking in the wrong direction. A “Help Me” button connects the user to a carer or family member if they panic.
Zipabout is part of the Mayor’s International Business Programme and the Founders Factory tech incubator.