DHS S&T Awards $104K to NYC Small Business to Develop Wayfinding Technology

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) announced today that Arup USA, Inc. of New York City was awarded $104,140 to develop wayfinding technology through the Silicon Valley Innovation Program (SVIP).

Arup USA received its Phase I award under the Real Time, Intelligent Traveler Wayfinding for the Federal Inspection Station and Aviation Environment topic as part of SVIP’s Innovation Other Transaction Solicitation. This topic call seeks to augment U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) capabilities through enhancing navigational resources available to international travelers. This is the first award under this solicitation.

Arup USA proposes to develop real-time navigation and orientation information to aid users when processing through CBP facilities at airports. The capabilities would be delivered through the use of cloud services, smartphones, and augmented reality options integrated with low-energy Bluetooth beacons installed throughout an airport. The system would also provide DHS real-time data on queues, wait-times and other relevant quality-of-service information, enabling CBP to improve passenger experiences.

“Arup USA proposes a novel way of helping travelers understand and complete the CBP inspection process,” said Arun Vemury, S&T Program Manager. “Accessible and integrated mobile wayfinding will enhance the efficiency of traveler navigation and interactions with CBP, alleviating some of the stress of international travel.”

Arup USA plans to create a technology that has low setup cost, requires minimal maintenance and is accessible to smartphone users. The services, which would be available both online and offline, would follow privacy best practices and allow users to opt-in.

“We are excited to see Arup USA be the first to join our portfolio of Wayfinding technology companies,” said Melissa Ho, SVIP Managing Director. “In this first phase of SVIP, the company will provide a proof-of-concept for its technology that subject matter experts in DHS S&T and CBP will review for potential next-phase funding. Arup USA has joined a rigorous program that is designed to help its product become more viable for DHS use-cases.”

Arup USA will develop its project in partnership with U.K.-based Pointr, a company specializing in indoor-location technology.

Companies participating in the SVIP are eligible for up to $800,000 over four phases of non-dilutive funding to adapt commercial technologies for homeland security use-cases.

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