Friday, July 2, 2010

Irish firm using GPS system to transform navigation for blind

AN IRISH company is testing new technology that could revolutionise navigation for the blind. Point The Way is conducting early tests of its phone application that helps visually impaired users follow GPS directions easily.

The application uses a phone’s built-in GPS receiver and compass to gauge its location. It then vibrates when the phone is pointed in the correct direction, allowing users to follow a route by touch. “A normal GPS may say ‘go straight’, which makes sense to most people but may not to a blind person,” says Tim Walsh, director of Point The Way. “Our tool will let them put it in their breast pocket and follow it quite easily.”

The company is currently running a small trial in conjunction with the National Council for the Blind of Ireland but is hoping to expand this soon. As part of this, it is already in early stage talks with manufacturers like Motorola, which has an accessibility programme in the US. Read More

Courtesy: Irish Times

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