Braille block

Last modified
Sunday, March 18, 2018

Description of App


1. Overview
When a visually impaired person is lost sight of yellow Braille block (formal name "Visually Impaired Guidance Block") at a station or a public facility, its existence and the approximate direction is estimated by the App, and also Warning block (dotted sureface block) is detected. Furthermore, the App judges the route of Braille block and informs how to proceed.

As another function, the App recognizes a railroad track on a station platform and notifies the approximate position. Also, you can check the direction you are facing. All of these recognition results are transmitted by voice.

2. how to use
Hold your iPhone vertically and hold down the home button. You can use the App just by tapping the screen towards the front ground. Because it is weak against the screen shake, please stop and fix the screen. The App will guide you by voice so that it is inclined from 25 degrees to 46 degrees with respect to the ground. The shutter sound does not sound because of consideration to the surroundings. Also, flash does not shine. Please cancel manner mode. VoiceOver function can be used either ON or OFF.
Using iPhone's Siri, you can also start the App by talking to “Braille block". (To use Siri, press and hold the Home button)
Details of it’s use can be read by displaying the explanation screen with the "Explanation, Screen" button on the App screen. Please be sure to read it.

3. Caution
Even with yellow Braille block, the App can not recognize it if it’s tint is different. Also, since outdoor Braille block is often unrecognizable due to dirt and aging, please use the App mainly in buildings such as a railroad station. Since there are also misrecognition and undetected due to the lighting environment and similar color objects. Please use it for reference only. Please use the cane to check the safety.

Because the App recognizes a track based on the black line, it is sometimes judged that a line other than a track is a railroad track. Orientation may be incorrect because it is affected by the surrounding magnetic field. Please understand these and use it.

* Developer can not be responsible for accidents, etc. by using the App. So be careful and use the App.

(Examples of recognition results)
* Braille block may be vertical direction, next, lateral direction. Warning block is recognized. The route has a left and right branch at the end.
* Braille block may be in front, right diagonal direction, next, lateral direction. The route turns to the left.
* Braille block may be in front, lateral direction, next, vertical direction. The route has a branch going straight ahead.
* Railroad track ahead. Please be careful.
* Railroad track on the left , ahead. Please be careful.

In Japan, Warning block is used to notify visually impaired people of dangerous places and cautionary places. Warning block has dotted protrusions and it is installed near the end of the station platform, up the stairs, before the descent, branch point of Braille block, turning point, end point etc.

* For more information,
http: //

* Developer: Masao MIYAKE, Doctor of Engineering.



Free or Paid


Apple Watch Support


iOS Version


Device(s) App Was Tested On

iPod Touch

Accessibility Comments

This is simple to use.
It works without VoiceOver.

By 1-finger double tap on the midst of screen, you capture the image by the rear camera.
Your can hear the result.
And, it's displayed on the lowest part of the screen.

There is no button on the center area, VoiceOver reads "image".

You can activate four buttons.

1. Explanation screen button.
This is the toggle switch.
When you can activate this, you can hear:
Explanation screen is displayed.
Cover screen is displayed.
Camera screen is displayed.

During explanation screen is displayed, you can not capture the image.

2. Voice stop button.

3. Derection button.

4. Gesture button.

VoiceOver Performance

VoiceOver reads all page elements.

Button Labeling

All buttons are clearly labeled.


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

Other Comments

This is the app to look for the yellow colored braille blocks in station yards.

Have you seen the tactile tiles or paving?
In Japan, you can tread them many times on sidewalk or inside facilities.

Those tiles are called "tenji block" in Japanese.
The meaning of "tenji" is braille.

For the first time, the braille blocks were constructed at corners of intersection in Okayama Japan in Mr. 18th 1967.

They are used as the sign of leading and warning for the blind and visually impaired.
Especially at a train station, it helps the blind walking safely.

But, it happens sometimes that people falled from a platform and got injured.
In some cases, blind people lost their derection on a platform.

The developer created this app to find braille blocks by iPhone's camera to avoid miserable accidents.

He also releases the app called
"Examine Clothes Color"


1 people have recommended this app

Most recently recommended by Hiroyuki Shinagawa 4 years 2 months ago



Submitted by Jeff Crouch on Friday, March 23, 2018

Hello, so this is something that is found in japan?

Submitted by TJT 2001 on Friday, March 23, 2018

The proper term for these "blocks" is Tactile Ground Surface Indicators (TGSI), assuming that is what they are. They can be found in many countries.

Submitted by Hiroyuki Shinagawa on Sunday, March 25, 2018

In reply to by TJT 2001

Thanks TJT,

I've wondered what the proper name is for braille blocks.

In Japan, most of them are colored yellow.
In some cities, other colors are prefered not to destroy the scenery.

Submitted by Jeff Crouch on Sunday, March 25, 2018

I've always known them as truncated domes. There found at street intersections and at bus and rail platforms. As for there color I couldn't say. I've seen them made out of plastic and cement, but the problem with that is when it snows in the north part of America, it tends to break up the bumps when it thaws making it difficult to tell where they are