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!