POOLE is being used as a testing ground for a talking app which informs people with disabilities about public transport.

REACT Technologies runs the React System, which turns the readouts on real-time information signs at bus stops into spoken announcements.

It is accessed at the moment through Bluetooth or special fobs, but the company is now trying out an app for smart devices.

REACT says the app makes public transport accessible for people who are visually impaired, or have cognitive or sensory impairments.

It has released the app on the Google Play Store for testing in Poole, as well as in Essex and Derbyshire. It is encouraging feedback from councils, display providers and passengers to help improve accessibility

Its existing React System, using a hand-held fob, is described as the national standard for “talking signs” on public transport.

Individuals can customise the system by saving their “needs profile”. if the display is capable, it then automatically presents information in ways most accessible for the user.

Russell Gard, managing director of REACT Technologies, said: “We are inviting people with a special interest in improving passenger accessibility to contact us.

“Whether you’re a passenger who currently uses the React System, a member of staff at a local authority, a travel display provider or a member of a disability support group, we would love to hear your views on how the app is working.”

Anyone interested can contact REACT Technologies on 01457 861 431 or email info@react-tech.com

Those joining the test will then be able to download a free appraisal version of the React System app from the Google Play Store.

REACT works with the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) to develop technology that improves public transport accessibility and encourages independent living.

Derbyshire-based REACT was recently bought by Danish-based company r2P, which also bought Nimbus Journey. The companies will offer a combined suite of management and passenger information products.

Mr Gard said: “Our companies complement each other in ethos and passion for the market. The additional resources that r2p bring means that Nimbus Journey Information, REACT Technologies and our people have a superb future ahead of us.”