CQ Hotels Wellington has become the first hotel in the country to install an app to help the visually impaired.

The app, Blindsquare, has been developed for the blind and visually impaired and acts as a navigation system by providing information to guide the person as they travel. The app is free and works by broadcasting a Bluetooth signal that the app recognises and converts to a voice message on the user’s iPhone, providing a spoken description of the business, its goods and services and the shop layout.

The ‘Wellington Blindsquare Enabled’ project is a partnership between Wellington City Council, the Blind Foundation, Radiola Smart Transit and Blindsquare. Fifteen iBeacons have already been installed throughout the hotel after just two months of the trial and is currently being rolled out to 200 retailers in the Wellington CBD.

The iPhone navigation system also provides users with other information such as the names of the roads they are walking along or where the bus stops are.