BlindSquare

Last modified
Wednesday, October 4, 2017
Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team
Category

Description of App

BlindSquare makes you sense what's around you. The only thing you need to do is listen. BlindSquare is a new solution that combines the latest technology to help the blind with their daily lives. It has been developed in collaboration with blind people and carefully field tested. You need either an iPhone or an iPad to get started. It also supports some additional accessories to enhance the experience. How does it work? BlindSquare uses GPS and the compass to locate you. It then gathers information about the surrounding environment from FourSquare. BlindSquare has some unique algorithms to decide what information is the most relevant and then speaks it to you with high quality speech synthesis. “What's the most popular café within 200 meters radius? Where is the post office or the library?” Using BlindSquare as a GPS solution: When you start the app, it will start telling you the interesting places and street crossings around you. By changing the radius, you can limit the area you are interested in. You can also search by search term or by category. You can select an interesting place from the search results and perform the following tasks: 1) Get contact info (address, phone number) 2) Open twitter feed or restaurant menu (if provided) 3) Make a phone call 4) Start tracking the place (BlindSquare will assist you by repeating the distance and the clock face direction) 5) Start your favourite navigator for turn-by-turn instructions (TomTom, Navigon or Apple Maps) BlindSquare is aware of when you travel by car, bus or train and starts to report interesting places in front of you (for example, the next stops) and street crossings when you are passing them. You can also save your own private places to iCloud so they will be found with your every device. Using BlindSquare as a FourSquare client: If you like to play FourSquare, you can do the following with BlindSquare: 1) Get a list of nearby FourSquare venues 2) When you are in a place, you can check in by shaking your device 3) Do a check in with commenting and twitter/facebook sharing 4) Correct the location of the place BlindSquare supports the following languages: English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Dutch, Finnish, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Czech, Russian, Estonian, Polish, Arabic, Turkish, Portuguese, Japanese, Greek, Romanian, Croatian, Hungarian, Korean and Bulgarian. VoiceOver usage is supported but it also includes higher quality additional speech synthesis by Acapela Text-To-Speech from Acapela Group. Instructions in English: http://help.blindsquare.com/instructions and http://blindsquare.com/faq Please note: This app retrieves data in real time from Foursquare and Open Street Map. Use of a flat rate data plan is highly recommended. Having only been released in May 2012, BlindSquare has already received several prizes and awards: - GSMA: Global Mobile Awards 2013, Best Mobile Health Product or Service - Apps4Finland 2012 - OpenCities App Challenge 2012 - The Finnish Information Processing Association: Best Product 2012 Please note: To use BlindSquare, your iCloud account has to be active so BlindSquare can access it to save your settings and places. Continued use of GPS running in the background can dramatically decrease battery life.

Version

4.26

Free or Paid

Paid

Apple Watch Support

Yes

Device(s) App Was Tested On

iPhone

iOS Version

10.3.1

Accessibility Comments

This app is fully accessible with VoiceOver. All buttons and controls are clearly labelled, and once you have familiarized yourself with the interface it is fairly easy to navigate and use.

VoiceOver Performance

VoiceOver reads all page elements.

Button Labeling

All buttons are clearly labeled.

Usability

The app is fully accessible with VoiceOver and is easy to navigate and use.

Other Comments

There is nothing but good things to say about this app. This is hands down one of my most favorite navigation app to use. It offers so much for so little cost. Now that it works in conjunction with the FREE Google Maps. You really should try this out first before buying in to those other very expensive accessible GPS navigations.

Developer's Twitter Username

@BlindSquareGPS

Recommendations

38 people have recommended this app

Most recently recommended by rissal 5 days 13 hours ago

Options

Comments

Submitted by dvdmth on Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Club AppleVis Member

BlindSquare has its own volume setting, independent from VoiceOver. If you want BlindSquare to speak at the same volume, you must change the setting to match what you use for VoiceOver, such as making both 60 percent.

Since BlindSquare does its own audio, it can talk at the same time as VoiceOver, even if they are set to use the same voice. For this reason, I suggest using a different voice, so that you can more easily distinguish between BlindSquare announcements and VoiceOver announcements, particularly when they overlap.

Submitted by Kerry Fielding on Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Hi. Thanks for this. The irony is that BlindSquare Voice volume is set to 100% and I had the volum maxed out on my phone also.

Kerry

Submitted by AnonyMouse on Thursday, April 6, 2017

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

What's New in Version 4.26

Fix - VoiceOver Bug
A VoiceOver bug, introduced in iOS v.10, has been corrected. Now, auto-updating fields works again. When you leave VoiceOver cursor over a data field, you will hear changes automatically. (Examples, compass, speed, heading, etc.)

Feature - New Message Types
BlindSquare BPS (Indoor navigation) will gain new types (examples, fire exits and pedestrian crossing) providing identifying tones preceding spoken details.

Feature - Improved Compass
Improved management of COMPASS while indoors. We have accelerated the response-to-turns and suppressed the signalling from GPS sources while operating within a beacon cloud, preventing stray messaging triggered by location changes.

Feature - Perkins BlindWays Integration
In March, at CSUN, we jointly announced a partnership between Perkins School for the Blind (Perkins) and BlindSquare supporting the delivery of the greatest transit information solution in North America. Perkins has created an incredible product called BlindWays on the iOS platform. BlindWays gathers, from crowd-sources, inner-circle information for the areas around bus stops. Detailed are descriptions, cautions and clues to best-support the transit rider as they approach their bus stop. Examples on approach, to learn of the presence of bus shelters, landmarks in proximity, trash containers, and more including a description of the actual location of the stop (ie, “on a post”). This, to provide micro-navigation within the inner circle but more, independence. BlindWays provides meaningful descriptions, using consistent language, raising confidence in travel. BlindWays, sponsored by Google, is celebrating its first deployment in Boston, Massachusetts in the USA. 7800 bus stops will soon be fully described with 70% now available.

We were approached by Google and Perkins to explore the connecting of services between BlindSquare (providing global travel support, live and simulated) to BlindWays information (providing inner circle navigation within the 5 meter/16 feet) of benefit to our common friend, the traveler who is blind/partially-sighted or deaf-blind. We shared the vision of the logic and desire to connect the services. BlindSquare version 4.26 presents this solution.

Friends in Boston now have the following features available:
Automatically, on approach to bus stops, advise about the route and bus services specific to the location. This includes expected arrival times, by bus.
On request, by shaking the device OR by pressing the Fast/Forward button on Media controls (whether wired or bluetooth), hear secondary transit information regarding service changes or disruptions.
On request, by pressing the Fast/Forward or rewind button ons Media controls (whether wired or bluetooth), skip-forward or back, through messaging to speed access to information of greatest interest or to review.
On request, by shaking by shaking the device OR by pressing the Fast/Forward button on Media controls (whether wired or bluetooth), hear BlindWays’ detailed descriptions of “the inner circle” on approach to the stop. No longer, the risk of standing in a wrong location only to hear the bus expected, driving by.
On request, by using the simple Voice Command or the Audio Menu selection “Bus” - request the information relative to the location of interest. Locations can be simulated from any global location, across the city or across the globe.
Example, search for “145 Dartmouth Boston”, Simulate this location. Speak the Voice Command “Bus”. Listen, shake as you may wish to unlock secondary information including Service Disruption announcements and BlindWays data.

We are proud of the work and partnering with Perkins to create the most-informed transit rider on the planet.

[Demonstration of BlindSquare and BlindWays integration, by Ilkka Pirttimaa]https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/5129261/BlindWays-demo.mp3 .
...More

Submitted by akira goh on Friday, June 23, 2017

Is blindsquare available for use in Malaysia?
Is it available for use in every country around the world?

Submitted by cool cat on Wednesday, April 18, 2018

I have been adding a couple POI's around me and I noticed a couple showed on the Foursquare app and not on the Blindsquare app. Anybody had this happen to them? anybody know why and how to fix it? Nobody' is probably going to check in to my POI's so they won't pop up in the Blindsquare app though. But, you never know. I know I can always add them as a favourite...

Submitted by alex wallis on Monday, October 7, 2019

Hi all, wondering if any blind square users might be able to help with a feature I am looking for in blind square but can't find anywhere maybe its been removed I don't know.
anyway I am sure there used to be a way you could bring up like a virtual map of either your current location or a simulated area, then run your finger over the map and you would hear like a walking sound and things would be announced on the map as your finger came to them. I can picture myself using this feature but can't find it. I am sure it wasn't another gps app that I used. any help would be appreciated.

Submitted by dvdmth on Monday, October 7, 2019

Club AppleVis Member

The feature you’re describing sounds like a different app called Ariadne GPS. I don’t remember the feature ever being in BlindSquare.

Submitted by sockhopsinger on Monday, October 7, 2019

as the previous post said, it was a different GPS app that had that feature. While you can simulate a different location in BlindSquare, you can't run your hand across a map to figure out what's around it. That would be a cool feature to have, though.

Submitted by alex wallis on Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Hi all, I actually figured out the feature I was thinking of, as it turned out it wasn't Ariadne gps I was thinking of. the feature is where you can hold your finger on a street name after bringing it up on the map, and as you move your finger you hear a low thud sound as you follow the street. though I had to do quite a bit of scrolling on the blindsquare help to find the feature description.

Submitted by Austin Grace on Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Hello everyone. I have used this app to get myself out of sticky situations. I have been successfully able to walk to a walmart in a small town where a friend of mine lives. Also there was one time when an uber driver had dropped me off at a wrong apartment a few years ago and this app was able to get me back to the right apartment. This app is seriously one of the best and I"m so thankful for it!!!! The best money an IOS user could ever spend.

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