What is BlindSquare?

BlindSquare is a smartphone app that makes use of the latest features available in smartphones to aid the blind and visually impaired with orientation and mobility. It has been developed and tested in close cooperation with blind and visually impaired users.

BlindSquare determines the user’s location using an iOS-device’s GPS capabilities and looks up information about the environment on Foursquare and Open Street Map. Employing unique algorithms, it will then ascertain the information most useful to the user and speak it in a clear, synthetic voice.

BlindSquare can for example be used to find the most popular café within a 200 meter radius or to locate the nearest post office or the library. Shaking the device will cause BlindSquare to announce the current address, as well as information about the location of the nearest street intersection and venues around.

BlindSquare can track the user’s destination and periodically announce the distance and direction while traveling. It can also be used to mark locations so they can be found more easily later on. BlindSquare also possesses filters letting the user limit the amount of spoken information.

Since BlindSquare copies saved places to iCloud, they get synched between all iOS-devices connected to the account, so it can be used on all of them.

Although VoiceOver, the screen reader that comes with iOS, is required to use the app, BlindSquare has its own high quality Acapela voices in many different languages to announce information about the environment. This means users can always hear all of the information they need, even when they do not touch the screen of their device.

BlindSquare is not only an orientation and mobility app, but it can also be used as a Foursquare client. If it is connected to a Foursquare account, BlindSquare can be used to check in to venues or to view some of the information available on a venue’s Foursquare page. BlindSquare also possesses an auto-check-in feature so users do not need to check in manually at their favorite places.

BlindSquare runs on the iPhone and the iPad and can be purchased in the App Store. It has been translated into English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Dutch, Finnish, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Czech, Russian, Estonian, Polish, Arabic, Turkish, Portuguese, Japanese, Greek, Romanian, Croatian, Hungarian, Korean, and Bulgarian.

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