Google Maps launches new audio navigation feature to assist visually impaired people

This new feature will also help someone who wants a more screen-free experience on their next walking trip

Google Maps
Google Maps. IANS

Google has added a new audio navigation feature to the Google Maps app on Android and iOS, which aids and allows visually impaired people to navigate freely without facing any intricacy.

According to World Health Organization (WHO), at least 2.2 billion people have a vision impairment or blindness, of whom at least 1 billion have a vision impairment that could have been prevented or is yet to be addressed.

To reduce the inconvenience suffered by blind people while transporting from one place to another, Google has announced this feature on World Sight Day, to support people who have problems of visual impairment.

Also, this specimen can be a useful tool for people who can see, especially when they are travelling to a completely new destination, which they never have been to.

This verbose feature shares all the required information for the users which includes, the location of a particular place, the distance one needs to traverse to take the next turn and crossing the road at a bustling junction.

Wakana Sugiyama, a business analyst based out of Tokyo, also visually impaired, worked closely with this initiative to enhance the quality of the app that could now allow every user to access Google Maps and travel with ease.

In the blog post, Wakana said, "I hope this new technology will give more people added confidence when navigating unfamiliar routes--after all, building for everyone is core to our work at Google".

He further mentioned, "While this new feature can be enormously helpful to people with visual impairments, it can also help someone who wants a more screen-free experience on their next walking trip".

However, this audio feature is currently available only to users in the US and Japan. It is expected to be accessible to other places shortly. As of now, the audio is only available in English but it is soon going to be launched in other languages as well.

This article was first published on October 13, 2019