From what we can tell, it seems that Microsoft is interested in coming up with ways to help the visually impaired. For example a couple of years ago, the company launched an app that helps colorblind people see the world as it is, and last year the company launched its Seeing AI app that helps describe things to those who are blind.

Now it looks like Microsoft has another app for the visually impaired called Soundscape. This is an iOS-only app at the moment, but what it does is that it will use audio cues to alert the user to things around them. For example users can set audio beacons for landmarks, such as their favorite store, or the hospital, or their workplace, and so on.

Through GPS, the app will know when the user is at said location and will alert them accordingly through 3D audio cues. The fact that it is 3D allows the user to perceive in which direction their audio beacon is, so that they’ll know where to turn and where to go to find it. As Erin Lauridsen, Access Technology Director for LightHouse for the Blind In San Francisco, puts it, “Obstacle avoidance is not the problem, we have a dog, a cane and our blindness skills for that. The gap is knowing where things are and being able to decide what’s of interest.”

If this sounds like an app you might be interested in or knows it might be of use to someone, it will be available as a free download via the iTunes App Store.

Filed in General. Read more about Apps, iOS and Microsoft.

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