> “What is BlindSquare?”
> BlindSquare is a look-around and positioning app for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch which has been designed especially for blind people.
> However, it might come in handy for sighted people, too. (More about that later.)
> Please find the link to BlindSquare on the App Store below together with the link to the official website and some useful resources. >
> “How does it work?”
> BlindSquare uses your location and the data from http://www.FourSquare.com to tell you > • where you are,
> • what is around you,
> • upcoming crossroads or junctions,
> • when your location changes, i.e. you walk into a new road and > • the direction in which you are walking.
> You can also browse the venues around you according to different categories. You can switch the announcements for those categories on and off. If you are looking for a particular shop, you might not want to hear about all the other things around you, and if you are looking for a bus stop, you might not want to hear about all the shops and cafés around. >
> Once you found a particular venue in which you are interested, you can track this venue or save it as a favourite: basically, you can get blindSquare to focus on this particular place and leave you alone about the rest. >
> FourSquare is crowd/sourced and provides BlindSquare with a much larger and more varied database than even Google could. You don’t have to be a FourSquare member to use BlindSquare, but as a FourSquare user you can create your own check-in venues and thus add to the information which is available to the BlindSquare app. Check-in venues cannot be created with BlindSquare but with the FourSquare app. Even if you are not a FourSquare member and don’t intend to become one, you can save locations to your own favourites in BlindSquare.
> Part of FourSquare’s crowd-sourced character is that you can also read people’s tips about a place or leave a tip yourself if you like. >
> “why is it so brilliant?”
> You don’t have to do anything else but start the app, put your iOS device into your pocket or bag, and off you go! As you move, be it on foot or in a vehicle, the built/in speech synthesiser announces what’s around you. You will hear things such as: “Post Office, 65 meters at 1 o’clock”, or “approaching crossing of Main Street and King’s Lane, 24 meters”. You will achieve the best accuracy when the back side of your phone is pointing in the direction of your movement.
> You don’t have to set route points, as other apps require you to do. All you have to know is where you would like to go, BlindSquare will do the rest. >
> You can also simulate locations, i.e. pretend you are already there, and have a look round. I would like to explain this with an example which might happen to some of us now and again.
> Imagine you are going to another city which you don’t know very well. You have agreed to meet a friend in a particular restaurant. After arriving at the railway station, you could, of course, pay for a taxi.
> As a modern and independent blind person, however, you could also check with BlindSquare how far it is to the restaurant< it might even be easy walking distance, and you might find a nice café on the way. If you searched for the place and found out that it is a bit too far to walk but you don’t know which bus line to take, BlindSquare can help you.
> Once you have searched for the venue and BlindSquare found it, you can simulate its location, i.e. you can pretend that you are already there. Now you can browse in the ‘Travel and Transport’ category for the nearest bus stop and the closest listed address. Now you can go looking for the correct bus, save the stop which is closest to your destination as a favourite and set the distance to alert you in time for your stop. >
> “But why doesn’t it guide me to my destination?”
> BlindSquare is NOT an app for turn-by-turn navigation. That’s not its aim. It won’t say: “In 20 meters, turn left.”
> It will tell you where you are and what is ahead and around you. However, once you browsed for a particular venue in your environment and want to be guided there, you can plan a route, which will pass on the request to the Maps app or another navigation app on your device. >
> “How does it come in handy for sighted people?”
> Sighted people have to process so much visual input that it can be a bit overwhelming some times. I have had the app running while walking around with sighted companions, and the app announced things which the person had never noticed before.
> Furthermore, sometimes we hear people talk about street names or hear local radio ads which give a street name, and we never bother looking up where this street actually is. I have BlindSquare running regularly when I am in the car with my wife, and often we say: “Ah, this is where that street is!”
> Sighted people who travel a lot might find blindSquare immensely helpful when browsing for shops, restaurants, hotels, etcetera in unfamiliar places. >
> “Is the app worth 21.49 euros”
> Of course, this price tag does not put BlindSquare into the cheapest category in the Ap Store. However, if we have a look at the app and how it works, we might scratch the surface of the effort that is going into the app.
> I answered the question whether it is worth the price for myself with a simple question: how often have I taken a taxi for what turned out to be a two-minute ride just because I didn’t know that my destination was that close? >
> If this description made you curious, here is the link for BlindSquare in the App Store: > https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/blindsquare/id500557255
> For more information you can also visit the BlindSquare website at > http://www.BlindSquare.com
> Here you will find answers to your questions in the FAQ:
> If you are interested to hear a podcast about BlindSquare, you can find it here:
> http://www.applevis.com/sites/default/files/podcasts/AppleVisPodcast387.mp3_.mp3 >
> “What is BlindSquare?”