How can electronic mobility aids and smartphone apps help me find my way around?

Devices and Software

GPS apps, devices and software can give you information about your current location and how to get to your destination. They use a combination of maps and audible directions to help with navigation.

Ultra Cane is a smart cane, equipped with an ultrasound system that provides a hazard protection envelope in front of the head and chest of the user. Two ultrasound transducers provide you with range data on close potential hazards, such as plants, people, road signs, and over-hanging branches. More information can be found on the Ultra Cane website.

Trekker Breeze is a handheld device that verbally announces streets, landmarks, bus stops and other places of interest around you. You can also record routes to your favourite destinations and save locations.

BrailleNote is a small portable computer which can have GPS software installed on it, so it can provide directions either through braille or audio.

Smartphone apps

Google Maps and Apple Maps are in-built navigation tools on smartphones that help you to navigate your way around. There are also a number of apps such as Ariadne GPS and 'Where am I?' which you can use in conjunction with Apple and Google Maps, to enhance them.

You could also try:

  • RNIB Navigator app which is subscription-based, and the NowNav app, both of which can help you to plan your route and get to your destination more easily
  • Microsoft Soundscape is an exploration app that has been designed in collaboration with Guide Dog to make it easier for people living with sight loss to explore towns and cities
  • Blind Square is an indoor and outdoor navigation app
  • Citymapper, Traveline GBTranslink (for journeys in Northern Ireland only) can be a very helpful way to plan your journey on public transport
  • UK Bus Checker, Arriva Bus and NextBuses can tell you when the next bus is arriving, show bus stops and routes
  • Uber and Addison Lee taxi apps are all accessible and allow you to book taxis as well as track your journey and see where your taxi is.

Guide Dogs have put together a series of 12 videos to help explain how to access some of the features offered on iphones such as Voice Over and Zoom. The videos which can be found on Guide Dogs iOS accessibility web pages are split in two sections, part one and part two, each containing six videos for you to scroll through.

Did this answer your question?

Related questions

Brought to you by