Foursquare-Based App Helps The Visually-Impaired Navigate Through Cities
BlindSquare is a geolocation app that incorporates speech synthesis and GPS technology to help the visually-impaired.
BlindSquare is a new app that helps the visually-impaired population find their way to popular spots on Foursqaure. With over 2 billion check-ins worldwide and 2 million users, Foursquare is essentially the internet’s most detailed crowdsourced directory. BlindSquare developers are taking advantage of this and integrating Foursquare data with Apple’s VoiceOver technology to create a location-based virtual map through sound. Pedestrians who are in need of this voice assistance can easily access addresses, street names, and surrounding locations, enabling them to travel to their desired locations. The app also utilizes Acapela’s speech synthesis technology, turning text into speech for turn-by-turn directions. The app features various Foursquare functionalities as well. BlindSquare can map out information about surrounding streets, crossings and services nearby. Users can also browse by categories within the app including arts and entertainment, food and shopping.
The app, designed by a Finnish company – MIPsoft, has been developed in close co-operation with the Finnish Federation of the Visually Impaired. It has been tested by several blind users — some even from the USA and Australia. BlindSquare is available in the Apple iTunes store for $14.99.