BlindSquare: Helping the Visually Impaired with Their Daily Lives
“BlindSquare is a new solution that combines the latest technology to help the blind with their daily lives.”
BlindSquare is an app currently available for iPhones and iPads (hopefully coming soon for Android devices) that uses GPS and the device’s built-in compass to locate where a person is and then uses data from Foursquare to inform the person about locations nearby that they may be interested in. The suggestions are communicated to the person using the device’s speech capabilities.
If the person is interested in any of the suggested locations, they can then use their device to do any of the following tasks:
- Get contact info (address, phone number)
- Open the location’s website, twitter feed, or other related sites
- Open a restaurant’s menu
- Call the locaiton
- Start tracking the place (BlindSquare will assist you by repeating the distance and the clock face direction)
- Start your favorite navigator for turn-by-turn instructions
- Mark a location so it can be found more easily later
BlindSquare can be used to find interesting places while walking, or while traveling by bus, car, or train – and can even report upcoming stops while using public transportation.
“BlindSquare makes you sense what’s around you. The only thing you need to do is listen.”
How does this project make the world a better place?
BlindSquare enables blind and visually impaired people to more be spontaneous instead of having to plan out every stop on a trip before leaving the house. It helps them explore neighborhoods and try new things on their own – without needing to rely on others.
Who is the intended audience?
Blind or visually impaired people, especially those in urban areas. (due to the increased number of Foursquare locations logged)
How can our audience extend the impact of this work?
The developers of this app have set a great example for combining existing data and tools with their own work in order to create something useful. Think about ways you can build upon a pre-existing object or platform to improve upon it.
Also, since the app works by suggesting locations logged within FourSquare, one way you can indirectly help users of BlindSquare is by logging more locations in FourSquare.
submitted by: laurenbaier