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App to help elderly cross the road

30th July 2014

A mobile phone app has been developed that helps disabled and elderly users cross the road and works to help them keep a degree of independence. The app has gone on trial in Scotland, but, if successful, it will hopefully see many elderly and mobility restricted residents cross the road safely and efficiently. 

A pedestrian crossing outside of the Scottish Parliament is now the first in the UK to be fitted with the new “Neatebox”, which works by alerting a smartphone user when the crossing is safe if the app associated to the device. Designed for all levels of reduced mobility, the app and accompanying Neatebox will equally help elderly stairlift users and those who rely on guide dogs.

"This is designed for everybody”

The brains behind this innovative project is that of ex-guide dog trainer Gavin Neate of Midlothian. Having spent 18 years training guide dogs, Neate knows a thing or two about disability and reduced mobility, so he created an easily accessible solution that is available to anyone who owns a smartphone.

Taking over three years to develop – with Neate giving up his job training Guide Dogs, investing his savings into the project and even suffering a brain haemorrhage during that time – Neate remained passionate about his idea and has seen it come to fruition. Of the invention he said, as reported in this article, "This is designed for everybody – if it's somebody that's got a broken leg, or an elderly person."

Backed by the Blackwood Foundation, which is an organisation based in Edinburgh that helps disabled and elderly people to live more independently, it is hoped that soon the Neatebox App will be rolled out in more locations and be as common a sight as an electric riser recliner chair and other such daily used mobility devices.

Image Credit: James Petts (

This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.