Google Maps rolls out detailed voice guidance for people with impaired vision

Google releases voice guidance in Maps for visually impaired people

As you can see from the above video, this is not merely a way for the visually impaired to get walking directions - Google is empowering visually impaired people to have their freedom and independence.

Google is proud that these features are not only for people with vision impairments, but they have also been built, from the ground-up, by such people.

To mark the importance of World Sight Day Google has unveiled their new Voice Guidance feature for walking directions in Google Maps. "I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to work closely with the Maps team on this project as an early advisor and tester-outside of my day job as a business analyst in the Tokyo office", she said in a blog post. It will provide Detailed voice guidance to the people who can't see or those who have weak eye sights. For now, it is only available in the US and Japan, in English and Japanese respectively.

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To switch on the new feature, open Google Maps, tap the three-lined icon in the top-left corner, then tap on "Settings, ' then 'Navigation, ' and head to 'Detailed voice guidance, ' and the 'Walking options" heading.

When using detailed voice guidance, Google Maps will announce the distance to your next turn, warn you of busy intersections, or notify you when you're going off route. The idea is that by providing more details about the walking directions, the navigation experience will be less problematic for those who have visual impairments. To improve user safety and comfort, Maps will also let a user know if they are nearing a large intersection and encourage them to cross with caution. And if they accidentally get off the correct route, they'll be told they're being re-routed. Support for additional countries and languages will be coming in the future.

"With detailed voice guidance in Google maps, my journey fades into the background and I can focus more on what I'll do at my final destination", Suglyama said.

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