With the help of over 20 million users of Foursquare and the concerted efforts of the app developers, BlindSquare has been finally launched to help out the blind. With a crowdsourced directory using around 2 billion check-ins all across the globe, BlindSquare is an app that will assist the blind travelling by foot or using public transportation, helping them find their way by reading out addresses, names of streets and surrounding locations.
Available at $14.99, BlindSquare uses speech synthesis technology developed by Acapela, which explains the app’s price. Since blind people often don’t know where to get down while travelling, say on a bus, the app’s purpose is to inform them about what’s nearby, and guide them along as they travel or roam in a particular area, app creator Pirttimaa told Mashable.
With the built-in audio features, BlindSquare draws an information map covering crossings, streets, services nearby the blind individual. Including categories like art, nightlife spots, food, colleges, shops, etc, you have up to 26 languages to choose from. Although a blind user might want to use earphones, Pirttimaa suggests using a bone conduction headset, or basically any device with a Bluetooth, so that one stays open to other sounds from the surroundings as well. While shaking the app tells you about your nearest crossing, street, etc, shaking once again checks you in, provided you are at a Foursqaure location. The app is enabled wherever there is accessibility to Foursquare data, and also uses data from OpenStreetMap, a sort of wiki-map of the globe.