Latest navigation technology providing ability!

Navigating can be hard at the best of times, even with the use of a navigation app. Well, for some in our community who are vision impaired, navigation is even more difficult in a world which you have never seen before. Luckily, Microsoft’s latest products; a new app called Soundscape, is enriching the lives of those who are vision impaired and pushing boundaries in the mobile marketing world.

What is it?
Ultimately it’s an enhanced version of current navigation apps, built around helping those who have poor eyesight, because as the user walks around the app announces specific roads, intersections, landmarks and more.

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The Soundscape app is enhancing the lives of people who are vision impaired – Source


Enhancing consumers’ lives…

David Woodbridge, who is Vision Australia’s Access Technology Advisor, explains that this app now provides him with “confidence in an outside environment by helping [him] understand what’s around – whether it’s a restaurant, cafe, railway station, walking/bike track, park, business or even a street name”.

Needs to be accessible…
I’d like to assume technology like Siri allows vision impaired users to access smartphone technology, however, for some users perhaps accessing apps on smartphone devices isn’t as simple as just using Siri. Considering the display takes up the majority of the device with no buttons present, I wonder how accessible this app will be for all people with vision impairment.

Updating constantly is paramount…
The app will need constant monitoring and updating to ensure accuracy in navigation, which could require a lot of resources from Microsoft. If not, it could be leading consumers astray. This would be completely unacceptable, considering some will rely on this technology to navigate their entire life.

I think it’s a shame this sort of technology isn’t available in current navigation apps, but it’s fantastic to see Microsoft have seen this need and opportunity in the market. It does however make me wonder… do we need to alter the standard of all apps to ensure people of all abilities can utilise them or is this an unachievable standard?

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5 thoughts on “Latest navigation technology providing ability!

Add yours

  1. I think in a world where all apps were accessible to all people would be amazing but optimistic … Microsoft is really raising the bar of inclusion and if they can execute it well it will hopefully have great repercussions for the rest of the digital community to raise the bar to the same standard.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. That was a great read Elisha! As much as i wish we could alter the standard of all apps to ensure people of all abilities can utilise them, i feel as though the way apps are currently used makes this a difficult and complicated feat. I think more people with different abilities who may be disabled for example disabled should be involved in the design process of apps to determine how feasible this is.

    I imagine technology differences amongst smartphones would make this pretty difficult as well. For instance, if there was an app that became optimised for people to get alerts depending on where they were walking but the app required something like bluetooth 5.0 or above, and most people dont have this technology, i imagine it would be quite challenging to scale this sort of technology and have concerns as to the bottom line of organisations.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Microsoft is really raising the bar of inclusion! I hope most brands can create technology that the disabled can use as well… not only would this help people who are disabled but it would also create a more positive reputation for the brand!

    Like

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