Google Maps Updated For Visually Impaired Users

Yolanda Curtis
October 12, 2019

But this same trip for a blind or visually impaired person could be a completely different journey, and even a risky one - this is why Google has introduced "Voice Guidance" in its Maps app. It is now only available in English in the United States and Japanese in Japan, but this is set to change.

It is also being pitched to those without visual impairments who want a more screen-free experience on their next walking trip. She said it's easy for a blind person to take paths that are in routine but new routes make it hard. They have built the "more detailed voice guidance and new types of verbal announcements" from the ground up and worked with their target users to ensure that it will indeed be useful and helpful.

When using detailed voice guidance, Google Maps will announce the distance to your next turn, warn you of busy intersections, or notify you when you're going off route. As I approach large intersections, I get a heads-up to cross with added caution. "And if I accidentally leave my route, I'll get a spoken notification that I'm being re-routed", added Sugiyama.

With the announcement, Google shared a video of Sugiyama demonstrating the new features.

I'm sad to say I have actually never actually considered what it suggests for an individual with a serious vision disability to obtain from point A to point B without having the ability to depend on what's probably the most crucial fundamental human sense. "I can relatively focus more on what I'll do in my final destination".

This new operate goes a step past the small print that Google Maps leaves us once we use the navigation on foot, a operate that for the standard person is greater than full due to the knowledge we see on the display, however which resulted inadequate for customers with lowered imaginative and prescient. The feature is now only available in English in the USA and Japanese in Japan for Google Maps on Android and iOS.

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