Microsoft Research has recently detailed a new app it calls Soundscape. The tool brings a solution to visually impaired users by helping them navigate their environment through voice-based mapping. By leveraging Bing Maps Local Search and Bing Maps Location Recognition, Soundscape is oriented to users who are blind or have poor vision. By using the intelligent voice mapping technology, the users can move around their neighborhood. It is worth noting Microsoft first detailed Soundscape a year ago, but has expended on the technology in a recent blog post. Melanie Kneisel, a Microsoft Research engineer, says the app uses automatic call outs. “As a person approaches identifiable places and things like businesses, bus stops, and intersections, Soundscape will call out the name of the place or thing from the direction they are located. If you are walking towards a Starbucks that is on your right, you will hear a voice saying “Starbucks” in your right ear to orient you in that direction should you wish to go to Starbucks,” Microsoft explains in a blog post.
Microsoft Research Soundscape App Helps Visually Impaired Navigate
Microsoft’s Soundscape app is available on iOS and uses Bing mapping technology to provide audio cues to visually impaired users.