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Seznam.cz launches new Haptic mapping technology for visually impaired travelers

Czech Republic-based internet company Seznam.cz has introduced a new Haptic mapping technology, which can be used by visually impaired travelers.

Haptic Maps will unlock a world of travel which has been previously limited for the blind and visually impaired.

Featuring tactile map technology, the new Haptic Maps will use a specific map key that generates black and white maps, when printed on special paper using a fuser, and results in swelling, making readable through touch.

Seznam.cz general manager Pavel Zima said: "Over the last 10 years, we have closely monitored the accessibility of our web services and have worked with various organisations to highlight any areas where our services could be improved.

"Tourism and mapping for the visually impaired was a key area of concern and I believe that our new Haptic Maps will provide a simple and practical solution for our consumers, opening up a new aspect of tourism to our beautiful country."

The company has collaborated on the tactile maps project with two universities, Teiresias Centre at Masaryk University in Brno and The Elsa Centre at Czech Technical University in Prague.

Seznam.cz provided the map data and designed the technology, while the university departments developed maps, including the map key, density and placement of various elements.