Microsoft will help the visually impaired better navigate the terrain

Microsoft releases iOS mobile app Soundscape, which will help people with full or partial vision loss to better navigate the terrain.

A key feature of the app is a sound beacon. Using stereo headset user hears the pulsating sounds coming from the destination. When the direction of the user coincides with the desired direction of movement, the frequency of the sound increases. In addition, they are accompanied by a sonorous signal.

Microsoft Soundscape allows you to put a sound beacon at any place. On top of the application offers the following features:

  • My location describes the current location and the direction in which the user is located;
  • «Around me» — describes nearby places in four directions;
  • «Before me» — describes nearby places located in front of the user.

In Microsoft emphasize that the app cannot replace a cane and a guide dog. The program works with any headphones, but it is best to use a wireless headset with the technology of bone conduction.

Project Soundscape emerged from the experiments on the creation of a Microsoft wireless headset for the visually impaired, which was to work with smartphones on Windows Phone, but the latter kicked the bucket. For the first time the technology has shown to journalists in 2014.


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