Accessible Wayfinding

Download NaviLens, NIU's free wayfinding app.

Visit this page with your smartphone or tablet to download the NaviLens wayfinding app to your device.

download the NaviLens app from the App Store "download

How It Works

  1. Open the app and scan your surroundings with your phone.
  2. The app will pick up any QR codes in the area, including:
    • Up to 40 feet away
    • While you’re moving
    • At an angle
    • In low lighting
  3. When the app detects a QR code, it announces and displays the information in the code and how far away it is, updating as you move toward it. The information will be in the language of your phone.

NaviLens Basics (7-minute YouTube video)

Who Should Use It?

Anyone! People who are:

  • Blind or visually impaired
  • Deaf or hard of hearing who have difficulty asking a hearing person for directions
  • Not native English speakers whose phone is in their preferred language
  • Not familiar with a building

About NaviLens at NIU

We strive to provide equitable access to NIU resources and services. Recognizing that signs and other wayfinding cues aren't accessible to people who are blind or have low vision, we're implementing NaviLens, a new type of wayfinding system. This innovative technology allows users to independently locate restrooms, elevators, stairs, exits, auditoriums and computer labs by using an app to scan their surroundings for special QR codes.

We’re proud to be one of the first institutions of higher education to implement this innovative technology, which is already being used in transit systems and other locations around the world.

Phase One

For the first phase of implementation, we selected buildings that are more likely to have visitors from the general public as well as Huskies with visual disabilities. The QR codes identify and guide users to stairs, elevators, exits, restrooms, auditoriums and computer labs.

Phase Two

The next phase will include installing more QR codes in indoor as well as outdoor locations. We’ll explore adding customized information, such as the current menu to a code for a dining hall.

Share Your Thoughts

We want to hear about your experience with NaviLens. To ask a question or share feedback, please contact us at it-accessibility@niu.edu.