Check this out: Clew: Revolutionary indoor navigation for iOS

iOS & iPadOS

Hey all! I seen a post about this in a Facebook group for blind Apple users. And I decided to check it out. And I wasn’t sure if you had heard about it yet.



Submitted by jcdjmac (not verified) on Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Excellent app! I just downloaded it after viewing the youtube video, and it helps me in getting around buildings and other indoor areas. Very helpful. congrats to the devs for making this app an easy to use navigation tool to help users navigate around indoor environments.

Submitted by LaBoheme on Thursday, January 31, 2019

nice, but the name of the app should be changed to "homing pigeons", because that's exactly what it is and better describes how it works.

Submitted by maxi on Thursday, January 31, 2019

can anyone give me link of the app?

Submitted by Roxann Pollard on Thursday, January 31, 2019

I have two pathways to walk across my house from the office to the master bedroom in a zig-zag pattern. I chose the one that goes to the left. I walked from my office, through the kitchen, back to the right to the livingroom, to the left into the master bedroom, and to the left into the master bathroom. I then stopped recording and requested the directions back to my starting point. To my astonishment. the directions were accurately given and in a timely manner. Very impressed. Now I need to see it in the real world. Devs, Keep up the great work. This app is exactly what we need for foreign indoor navigation.

Submitted by mendi on Thursday, January 31, 2019

I might give this a test run in a familiar place, but then, it's real tempting to see how it might perform at conferences and such. Wow!

Submitted by mastodont on Thursday, January 31, 2019

Hi. It seems that the app is not available in Romania, the country I live in. Can anyone provide me the details for contacting the developers about this issue? I think that this app should be available world wide since it doesn't rely on region based content.

Submitted by BlackCat on Thursday, January 31, 2019

I'm from South-Africa and downloaded Clew. After opening it asks me to record path. I double tap and like prompted, hold the rear camera in front of me. Then I received commands like: "Turn, for example, 130 feet left, turn 100 feet right, turn around etc. etc." Where can I find documentation explaining how this app works? Do I need to turrn bluetooth on and must there be bluetooth transmitters in my area? This app sounds extremely interesting.

Submitted by Igna Triay on Thursday, January 31, 2019

once a path is recorded, is there a way to save it for navigating in it later, or do you have to record the path each time? i'm confused on how this app works exactly.

Submitted by gailisaiah on Thursday, January 31, 2019

Downloaded it and tried in my office building. Worked great! I will keep it to try some more especially in unfamiliar places such as stores. I did, though, disable the log. It said that the log doesn't have personal information but you can't be too careful.

Submitted by mendi on Thursday, January 31, 2019

I've been playing with it in my office building, and I've not gotten great results yet. That said, I'll continue to play with it in hopes I can figure it out, because it does have very interesting potential.

Submitted by peter on Friday, February 1, 2019

This is a very clever idea and great use of the AR capabilities of the iPhone.

So, I figured I would give it a test run and downloaded it.

The interface looked clean and simple. Seemed like it would be a breeze to use.

I walked a simple path through my house while recording the path as described. When I tried the return path, it wasn't clear whether I needed to keep hitting the "Directions" button or whether I could just hit it once and get audio feedback.

I heard some sounds and whistling but wasn't sure how to interpret them. What does a whistle mean? What was the beeping sound indicating? What does it mean to "turn left 26 feet"? I don't think measurements of rotation are generally given in feet. Shouldn't that have a number of degrees or something like "north west"?

Anyway, it was very confusing and seemed to direct me into walls and furniture.

Now I must say that my house is one of those open floor plans - One big room with furniture placed throughout it. There aren't any long narrow corridors like one would find in an office building. Does this only work in a building with corridors?

Also, some documentation on how this app works and how one should interpret sounds would not only be helpful, but seems necessary. Am I supposed to wear headphones to get directional information? What types of environments is the app designed to work optimally in?

Anyway, very nice idea, but I didn't find it very useful as is. I hope the developers can build on the concept to make a truly novel and useful app.

Oh yes, one more thing. As another poster said, it would be great if one could save paths for future use.

Would be nice to hear from the developers.


Submitted by mendi on Friday, February 1, 2019

In reply to by peter

I did a google search for the app and found their web site. After reading it, I was a little more clear on how to use it, at least in the way of recording paths, where it could idealy be used, etc. However, the mystery of what the sounds mean and/or how to get auditory directions was not clarified at all. Anyway, the same information that was on the site in their overview should've been given in the app itself, or at least that's my opinion.

Submitted by Paul Ruvolo on Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Hi Everyone,

First of all, thank you so much for your interest and comments on Clew. I am the head of the group that developed this app, and the folks in my group and I really appreciate this useful feedback. We are working hard to improve the app. The feedback given in this thread and in other places is exactly what we need to make this happen. Additionally, we are committed to working with people who are blind and visually impaired to improve the app. In fact, several of the developers of the app are legally blind.

What we are hearing from the community feedback is the following:
(1) We need better in app documentation.
(2) Several people would like translations of the app to other languages.
(3) Folks want to improve the apps performance in outdoor settings. This can be done through incorporating GPS.
(4) The options are currently difficult to find (they are available through the settings menu of the phone, rather than through the app itself).
(5) The most common thing we've heard is that people want to be able to save routes. This is exactly the thing we have been working on over the last several months. Unfortunately, it's actually quite difficult to implement this feature (I'm happy to provide more details on this if folks are interested). I just want the community to know that it's not something that is easy to add.

For more context, I am a college professor at Olin College of Engineering. Olin is a small, undergraduate-only engineering school based in the suburbs near Boston. I've been working on various concepts for indoor mobility using augmented reality technology for the last several years. This is the first app that my group has managed to release.

Please keep the feedback coming. We will do everything we can to act on it and deliver a great app experience!

Best wishes to all,
Paul Ruvolo

Submitted by Remy on Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Thank you Paul for your dedication to this matter. Indoor navigation is still in its infancy, but this is an interesting first start. I agree with all the feedback, particularly the saving of routes for future use. Actually if you did that, it would be interesting to be able to toggle the root back and forth, from A to be, But then from B to A. I guess one challenge with that is making sure your point of origin is the same every time. Anyway, this is very interesting to see and I look forward to future developments of this app, and/or the innovations which spawn from it.

Thanks Remy. You have absolutely hit the nail on the head regarding why it is difficult to implement this feature. The difficulty is ensuring that when you travel back along a saved route you are able to precisely able to align your current position with the saved route. It's not so much the position that is the biggest problem but rather the orientation. Even a small deviation in the orientation angle of the phone will result in compounded inaccuracy as you follow along the route. For instance, consider walking 100 meters through an open field. A 1 degree deviation in heading will result in about almost a 2 meter error after walking this distance.

There are a bunch of ways we are working on to solve these issues and we will reach out to the community to get feedback in the future.

Best wishes,

Submitted by peter on Wednesday, February 13, 2019


Great to see you on the AppleVis forum!

What you say about a small angular deviation having a large effect when traveling over a long distance is certainly true. Perhaps rather than just having POI's at the beginning and end of such a route you can drop several well-spaced POI's along the route to keep the person "on track".

Anyway, keep us posted as you make progress. I'm sure you'll find a lot of interest and this could be a great utility for blind folks.


Submitted by gregg on Saturday, February 16, 2019

to see how deviation is addressed look for the app i walk straight

Submitted by mendi on Monday, February 18, 2019

I noticed there is a Clew update, and when I read the release notes I see that settings and a help section are both included in the app, as suggested. Thank you for listening to and responding to feedback. This is an interesting app, and I do think these additions are very helpful to new users.

Submitted by peter on Monday, February 18, 2019

I just wanted to say that the help documentation provided with the new version was very useful. My previous experiments with using this app were not very successful. However, knowing what the various feedback mechanisms were trying to tell me was a great help. I navigated seamlessly through routes with which I didn't have any success before.

So for those of you whose first experiemnces might not have been so great, I would encourage you to give it another try and keep track of any updates that might be coming along.