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Scalable infrastructure accessibility for the visually impaired

Municipality of Cluj-Napoca

The Municipality of Cluj-Napoca is the local government body responsible for administering Cluj-Napoca, Romania.

The Municipality of Cluj-Napoca, as the city’s local government, oversees various aspects of urban life. This includes managing public services, infrastructure, and finances. The municipality also plays a role in urban planning, cultural development, and social programs.


Cluj-Napoca strives for an inclusive city, but some public spaces such as historic areas pose a barrier for the visually impaired. Modifying these areas can be expensive and damage cultural heritage.

The municipality of Cluj-Napoca is looking for scalable, innovative solutions to enhance the accessibility of public spaces, empowering visually impaired residents to engage fully in city life.


.lumen is the start-up that builds glasses which empower the blind to live a better life.

There are 338 million visually impaired people today, and despite all the technological advancements, the most used mobility solutions are still the walking cane and the guide dog. The guide dog is unanimously seen as a good option, but it has a few drawbacks. It costs between €30-€60K to train a single guide dog – and it can be a big responsibility for a blind person to provide care for such a companion.

.lumen offers a solution that mimics the benefits of a guide dog without the drawbacks that make it a non-scalable solution. The .lumen solution is aligned with the challenge in the following ways:

  • addresses the need for a scalable and accessible mobility solution for the visually impaired.
  • is affordable compared to guide dogs, which can cost up to €60,000 to train.
  • is compatible with existing infrastructure, meaning that it can be used in the city’s historic centre without needing any infrastructure change.
  • the solution is versatile and can be used for various tasks beyond outdoor mobility.