Accurate navigation for the visually impaired with what3words and BlindSquare
BlindSquare is the world’s leading navigation app developed for the blind and visually impaired. It collects information from crowdsourcing platforms like Foursquare, public mapping sources, service providers like Uber and public transit companies. It describes surroundings and announces points of interest as people travel, and works with third-party navigation apps to provide information to the blind and visually impaired who want to travel independently.
Imprecise street addresses and descriptive addresses can be challenging to describe, find, and navigate to: a street address might be defined as the centre of a building rather than an actual entrance, some buildings have multiple entrances, and places like coffee shops, stores and venues often share names. GPS coordinates solve the precision issue but aren’t user-friendly and are easy to mix up.
To solve this issue as well as the difficulty in communicating location, BlindSquare has integrated what3words into its system. People can search for or input 3 word addresses and get directions to the exact 3m x 3m square they need to make their way to. They can also ask the app to announce their current 3 word address that they can then easily share with anyone they like.
“We were happy to discover what3words and pleased to deliver this outstanding service to our friends and community members who are blind. This solution dramatically improves the identification and sharing of locations in a world that may otherwise be dark, for many of our users” said Ilkka Pirttimaa, creator of BlindSquare.
With 3 word addresses, locations are simple to input, find, and communicate, and users don’t need outside help to find their way. And ‘Where am I?’ is a question that can finally be answered easily, with 3 simple words.