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“How Smartphones Help a Blind Person Navigate: Part One,” is a cogent article from RNIB with many supporting links: Full article here – http://bit.ly/2fEsNIg
A clip from the Blog:
How smartphones help a blind person navigate: part one
Post date: Tuesday, 1 November 2016
In the first of two blogs on the topic of mobility tech, Robin Christopherson, Head of Digital Inclusion at AbilityNet, and a technology enthusiast, talks about the options available to blind and partially sighted people on today’s market.
We live in exciting times for accessible mobility and as a blind person myself, I couldn’t be more thrilled about the technology that exists today that helps with mobility assistance for people with vision impairment.
How can a smartphone help people with sight loss navigate a journey when out and about?
What is GPS Positioning and why is it important?
Navigation apps on smartphones use the Global Positioning System (GPS) to locate a person’s position anywhere on Earth where there is an unobstructed line of sight to three or more GPS satellites.
Apps that use GPS are hugely helpful for general mobility, such as knowing which street you’re on, however, GPS won’t always necessarily get you to a specific location like a particular doorway – or often even to the right building or side-street. This is because at best, the satellites that power GPS can recognise your position up to five metres off of your actual location and at worst, can often be quite inaccurate. I’ll cover strategies for dealing with this later in the blog.
Built into every iPhone and iPad is a navigation app, imaginatively named Maps. Don’t discount the app as being too visual because with VoiceOver functionality switched on, it can be wonderfully helpful.
Adding clarity to mobility
This article wouldn’t be complete without a mention of the new Magnifier built into the latest iOS software (version10). If you have some useful vision and an iPhone or iPad with the latest software downloaded, then your world is about to get much clearer.
Phone a friend – or stranger
If you need help identifying an object or reading a TV guide, why not video call a friend to ask them your query? If you have an iPhone, use the Facetime app to call other iPhones for free. Why not use Siri to start a Skype audio or video call?
In the second part of his blog which will be available later in November, Robin will look at what mobility gadgets are en route to arrive in the near future.