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The Best Apps for the Blind & Visually Impaired People

Modern people can hardly imagine their lives without smartphones, social networks, and applications that come in handy in various situations, whether ordering services, setting a reminder, watching movies, or applying a speedy paper coupon code. It is a useful device for any person, regardless of their medical condition. However, this gadget gets special status when it comes to people with physical disabilities, turning into a great helper and almost a rehabilitation means. Indeed, a smartphone provides you with not just an ability to make calls and exchange messages. It gives you the Internet access and a chance to use all the variety of applications, making your life easier and more interesting. This device is of special importance for those who suffer from sensory impairments, especially when it comes to the blind and visually impaired people. Every smartphone has a built-in screen reader that literally allows you to control the device with your voice.

ViaOpta Nav

This app will provide you with turn-based navigation, but you can add intermediate points to the map if you want to improve your route’s accuracy. The user can clarify their location, the distance left to the destination, and get a description of the cross streets along the route. Even if the screen reader is turned off, the program sounds the required info using the built-in text-to-speech function. The application has been developed by the medical corporation Novartis.

GetThere

Wherever you are going to go, the app will help you find the right place and provide you with tips on how to get back on the right road if you lose your way. You will get a new portion of clues at every crossroads. When you want to find out about your current location, it is enough just to shake your phone. There is no map provided, and you manage the app with the help of voice commands.

DotWalker Pro

It is one of the oldest text-based navigation apps that has been created specifically for visually impaired people. The program contains a list of nearby places, descriptions of landmarks, navigation instructions, the ability to record a route, and a built-in talking compass. All the information is regularly updated, so you will get the freshest and most relevant info free of charge.

Ariadne GPS

It is a pre-paid GPS application on iOS with a talking map that sounds street names and house numbers and informs you about the objects surrounding you. If you want to study the area, you need to touch the screen with your finger and move it in the desired direction: forward, backward, right, or left. You can also get a description of objects around any point on the map. If the Monitor function is on, the program will automatically report changes in location as you move. The app is fully available to VoiceOver users.

Blind-Droid Wallet

This app has been specifically developed for blind and visually impaired people. Thus, when you need to pay for something or understand how much money you hold in hand, you should just bring the banknote to the smartphone’s camera for the application to state the currency and denomination.

 

TapTapSee

TapTapSee helps identify objects you come across in your daily life. A double-tap is enough to take a photo of the object and hear a sound description. Users note that the app is handy if the photo isn’t taken in low light. It is one of the very first applications created for visually impaired people that even managed to get the American Foundation for the Blind Award in 2014.

Icansee

Using artificial neural networks, the program determines the surrounding objects and sounds their names. An additional feature of the iOS app is the ability to search for the items. You should just say the name of the object you want to find and turn on the camera. For the application to work properly on Android, you should additionally install or update the OpenCV Manager. The program for Android has slightly different characteristics. Thus, the application processes the image to make it easier to see, increasing contrast, focus and adding various filters. It can also voice a text.

Lookout

Google has released the Lookout app, which can read text on signs, scan barcodes, identify types of banknotes, and, most importantly, name objects around the user. A smartphone camera is used for object recognition. The developers are proud that the app can voice everything it sees. However, the program is available only for users of Google Pixel smartphones.

Be My Eyes

It is not an ordinary app but rather a big community. A blind or visually impaired person can contact a volunteer via video link and ask for help to navigate the space, read a label, or find out if the chosen clothes match. Dozens of volunteers are awaiting calls, so don’t be shy if you need the help of a living person.

Aira

A free English-language service that connects visually impaired users and volunteers ready to help them navigate, place an order, or pick up a tie. The application cooperates with many airports in the USA and Europe.

OsmAnd

It is offline navigation for visually impaired travelers. Users can find the desired spot in any country of the world, create a route, and get tourist info about the objects of interest. Voice navigation works in pedestrian, bike, and car modes. The app also helps you navigate local public transport.

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