6 of the Best Apps for People with Blindness or Visual Impairment
In a world where there are over 8.9 million apps, one demographic that constantly remains neglected is that of the blind and visually impaired. Over 49.1 million people are blind – that is approximately 1% of the population. However, over the last few years, the market has seen some innovative and resourceful mobile applications that cater to this audience. We put together a list of our favourite 6 apps for people with blindness under the three most common mobile app categories!
Whether it is travelling or just going to the local supermarket, people with blindness have to often rely on others to guide them, and as such, navigation apps can be a game-changer in making them more independent and in control of their daily activities. Here are 2 apps that caught our eye:
BlindSquare is an accessible GPS app developed for people who are blind, deafblind, or have partial vision loss. The app has a self-voicing feature that allows users to travel safely and independently. Blindsquare operates by pairing with third-party navigation apps and has interesting features like alerting the user to places of interest close to their location.
Armed with an easy-to-use interface and a responsive self-voicing feature, Ariadne GPS is an intuitive navigation app for people with visual impairments. It allows users to know more about the area and the streets around their location, helping them explore their surroundings with a simple drag gesture over their screen. In addition, to which, the app also has a special feature that announces upcoming stops on a bus or train, ensuring that you never miss your destination!
Visual Support Apps
We live in a world that is primarily visual – from billboards to the recipe behind the pack of your favourite noodles. Navigating such a world can be challenging for people who don’t have their sight to guide them. Visual support apps can be lifechanging for such people, and we picked the 2 best apps that you should give a try:
Accessing visual information has never been easier for blind and low vision users with Envision AI. It is an app that allows people to be more independent as they go about their daily activities by voicing visual information around them. The app has the ability to read texts in over 60 languages and assists users through text recognition. Whether you want to read the newspaper, instructions on a cereal box, or your family’s handwritten notes – you can do it all with Envision AI!
Sometimes, text recognition technology is not as accurate as we might like it to be. In these situations, Be My Eyes can be a saviour for people who might be looking for a little bit of help due to sight-related challenges. The app connects blind or visually impaired users to volunteers around the world in a matter of seconds. These volunteers help guide users through small, everyday tasks like reading the expiration on a packet of food or describing the colour and style of a pair of shoes. Available to users in over 180 languages, this form of virtual assistance not only helps create a sense of community but also helps spread awareness about blindness, low vision, and visual impairment.
Loss of vision is a challenging experience, to say the least. Couple that with the inability to enjoy the things that you love like other sighted users. Fortunately, with the evolution of technology, entertainment is becoming more accessible to all audiences and no longer has to be an isolating experience.
The Earcatch app makes everyday experiences like watching a movie with the family possible for the blind audience. The app allows users to select the film they are going to watch in the cinema or at home and access the corresponding audio descriptions for the same through their smartphone or tablet. A movie night out with friends and family is no longer an impossibility.
A one-of-a-kind app for those with a travel bug, Travelear provides users with an immersive and vibrant audio experience. The app consists of a vast collection of varying soundscapes from all around the globe captured in 3D binaural audio. Users with blindness or visual impairment can transport themselves to another part of the world by simply putting their headphones on. The true-to-life soundscapes are a treat for anyone who loves to travel!
If you haven’t already, try some of these apps and let us know what you think of them!
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