Google has recently launched new Android applications for visually impaired. These apps have been designed to help the blind with walking directions that combine Google Maps with GPS navigation technology. The WalkyTalky app goes hand-in-hand with spoken walking directions from Google Maps to better navigate the physical world. In addition, Intersection Explorer allows users to explore the layout of streets using touch before venturing out with WalkyTalky.
WalkyTalky is an Android application that speaks the address of nearby locations as users pass them. It also provides more direct access to the walking directions component of Google Maps. With WalkyTalky installed, one can: launch WalkyTalky to specify a destination; either specify the destination by address, or pick from favorites or recently visited locations; and in addition to spoken walking directions; and hear street addresses as you walk by.
These spoken updates, in conjunction with the walking directions that are spoken by Google Maps help them navigate the physical world as efficiently.
Whereas, the Intersection Explorer applications enables users to explore any neighborhood on Google Maps via touch exploration.
Intersection Explorer starts off at the user's current location; one can change the start position by entering an address, to do this, press menu and click on new location; once the map has loaded, touching the screen speaks the streets at the nearest intersection; moving one's finger along a compass direction, and then tracing a circle speaks each street at that intersection along with the associated compass direction; presence of streets is cued by a slight vibration as one traces the circle; land ifting up the finger when on a street moves in that direction to the next intersection, speaks the distance moved, and finally speaks the newly arrived-at intersection.
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