Google introduces voice guidance to Maps for people with impaired vision

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Detailed voice guidance began rolling yesterday on Android and iOS in English for USA users and Japanese for Japan users.

Google Maps is already the default choice for many when it comes to navigation, be it by auto, public transport, or on foot, thanks to the accurate instructions spoken by Google Assistant. These features are specially designed for people with vision impairments as they can not use the already available feature in Google Maps. But this same trip for a blind or visually impaired person could be a completely different journey, and even a risky one - this is why Google has introduced "Voice Guidance" in its Maps app.

Wakana Sugiyama, a Business Analyst for Google worked on the app as an early advisor and tester. It's simple to recollect the best way to these locations that you're used to go each day, however going to new locations is extraordinarily hard with out eyes to information you.

But it doesn't mean that this feature can not be used or helpful for people who are totally normal.

The new technology isn't limited to the visually impaired: Google hopes it can also help folks struggling to put their phone down and have a screen-free experience.

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Sugiyama explained: "With this feature, I can navigate the streets of Tokyo with more comfort and confidence". If users accidentally divert from their route, they will get notified by Google Maps.

In a blogspot published yesterday by Google, which was also World Sight Day, the tech giant outlined all there is to know about the feature.

To turn on the navigation, the user has to turn the feature on, go to Google Maps settings and select "Navigation". Google will bring support for additional languages and countries in the future.

As the mode is demonstrated in the video, the voice gives specific details as to how far you'll need to walk to reach certain landmarks and will alert you to obstacles such as if a crosswalk runs through a particularly large intersection.

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