Forget Blind People—Google's Blind Navigation Apps Will Appeal to Everyone

Illustration for article titled Forget Blind People—Googles Blind Navigation Apps Will Appeal to Everyone

Until stem cells cure all blind people, we can count on Google to do a fine line in navigational aid apps, such as WalkyTalky and Intersection Explorer. The thing is, these apps will appeal to any city-roamers, blind or not.


Perhaps it's because I often forget my glasses when strolling through London, or maybe it's the itty-bitty street signs. But WalkyTalky, which reads out not only the directions as you walk, but also the intersecting streets that you pass by. Not only will it help with your bearings, but it'll give you a greater understanding of the city—the next time someone mentions meeting on King Street, for example, you may well remember passing it previously.


Intersection Explorer isn't quite as useful admittedly, but I imagine it'd help steel any nerves about the upcoming journey before even leaving the house. You can virtually walk through Google Maps, with the app reading out the directions of the proposed journey ahead.

WalkyTalky seems a little buggy now, judging by my brief attempt at using it (it keeps crashing). With any luck the Eyes Free team will release an update to fix it shortly, because it sounds like it's going to solve many of my problems when out and about. [Eyes Free via TechCrunch]

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I was thinking about something like this the other day when walking through a not so great area of the city and I didn't want to whip my iPhone out for GPS.

However, my idea would be to use the phone's vibration to signal turns rather than audio. For example if you come up to an intersection it would vibrate once for right, twice for left.

I don't always have my headphones with me and the speaker isn't good enough to hear from my pocket which means I'd have to take my phone out anyways and defeats the purpose.