Previously we have seen Microsoft release a new app that would help the visually impaired people to experience the world around them. This app was called Seeing AI. This app made use of the camera of the iOS device and described the things around them with voice and by vibrating the device. Now a new app called SoundScape will be targeting to help the blind people too.
Soundscape for iOS devices
Soundscape makes use of 3D audio experience using headsets to empower blind people to experience the world around them. It is a free app for iOS devices that allows people to set audio beacons at familiar destinations and landmarks, and then it uses 3D audio cues to improve their awareness as they proceed towards their destination.
With 3D audio, the sounds are perceived as coming from the point of interest, so the user can build a mental image of what’s around from the acoustic environment – the soundscape – of sounds in the environment and those from the Soundscape app.
Some of the main features of this app are as follows:
- While you are commuting while walking, the app will automatically mention the points of interests, famous hotspots, lanes, and more than you cross by. However, it is up to the user if they want this to work.
- You can also set sounds for specific checkpoints so that when you are near them, you are notified.
- A feature called My Location describes where you currently are and the direction that you are facing currently.
- Another feature called Around Me will describe where you are and what famous hotspots are near you. These hotspots are detected based on all the four cardinal directions namely North, South, West and East.
- There is this feature called Ahead of me that will notify you about points of interests coming forward. This comes the best handy when you are walking.
Microsoft reports that they have tested this app with actual blind people and this test has proved that this won’t help in reducing the levels of stress and anxiety and more but this will at least let them travel and navigate in the world with ease.