Science

12 Oct 2019

Now, Google Maps will help visually-challenged people navigate: Here's how

Just a day after upgrading Chrome with a handy visual accessibility tool, Google is doing something similar for Maps.

The company has announced a new feature for the navigation service, an option that gives detailed voice instructions and directions as a way to help visually-impaired navigate safely.

Here's all about the new capability and its working.

Feature

Detailed voice guidance for navigation

Announced on the occasion of World Sight Day, the new Maps feature provides extra-detailed voice guidance for navigation.

This way, along with regular stuff like which turn to take, Maps provides additional navigational insights such as, how long it will be until your next turn, the direction you are walking in, or if there is a busy crossroad or intersection up ahead.

Here's what Google's business analyst said about the capability

"With this feature, I can navigate the streets of Tokyo with more comfort and confidence," Wakana Sugiyama, a Google Japan business analyst who suffers from visual impairment, said in a statement. Sugiyama guided the testing and development of this feature.

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This will make walking on the street easier than ever

This will make walking on the street easier than ever

Evidently, the spoken instructions will make it easier for visually-impaired people to move from point A to B with comfort, reassurance, and confidence - even if they are alone.

It will keep reminding that you are moving in the right direction and also help you find your way or direction in case you have to stop for something in between.

Feature

How can you use it?

The voice guidance feature of Maps has started rolling out for Android/iOS but is only available in English in the US and in Japanese in Japan, as of now.

While more regions/languages will be added in the near future, if you're in US or Japan, head over to Maps' Settings > Navigation > Walking options and 'Detailed Voice Guidance' to start using it.

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