Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Where Am I?


I used to travel a lot for work and I always had recurring nightmares about being in a strange city, walking around, and getting horribly lost. Those nightmares would keep me from exploring some really fantastic places, and now I regret that. If only IPhones and IPads and such had been around then...

Google has announced two new apps, specifically targeted for people who are blind and who must find their way around a city. Think GPS for the walking crowd...

The apps are called WalkyTalky and Intersection Explorer.

WalkyTalky 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 Maple Street, for example, you may well remember passing it previously.

Intersection Explorer isn't quite as useful, but I imagine it would help steel my nerves about my 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.

It's great that someone was thinking about the Blind when these apps were developed, but honestly, I think everyone, disabled or not, could benefit.

Now let me go talk to the only two people in my house who have an Idevice - my two teenage sons - and see if they can download the apps!

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Did you know that almost all GPSs have had a function where you can select that you are walking and they you directions? They've had this function for several years now, just something to keep in mind for those without an iphone!!

Ashley's Mom said...

Anon, no I didn't know that! Good information.

Do you mean the standalone GPS units like Tom Tom?

Azaera said...

Man that is so cool. Oh and we have a Tom Tom and the walking directions aren't always the best. The maps on those things aren't always made for walking, usually it's just roads and highways. It will tell you which direction you're going, but sometimes the street names are old or messed up. Or the addresses are off by several houses. Ours thinks that my in-laws live in the playground, but their house is actually down the street from there.. So I'd be careful with those unless you know for sure it's programmed correctly and the maps are all current and up to date for walking.

Terena said...

interesting. thanks for this. Could come in handy with my students.

Lisa said...

this is awesome... I just searched for WalkyTalky in the app store on my iPhone and it said "no matches" - do you know if it goes by another name?

So glad I found your blog... I look forward to learning more about you and your family.

Ashley's Mom said...

Lisa, search for Walkie Talkie. I had the wrong spelling...