Great Android Apps to Help the Visually ImpairedTechnology has come a very long way over the last few decades – and the last 5 years in particular have seen a great jump in the hype surrounding technology. It has been made fashionable through smart phone and tablet devices, which have taken the world by storm. They have completely revolutionised the way that we are able to make use of the world around us.

There are tens of thousands of apps that are widely available on both Apple and Android products. We are now able to do things like navigate ourselves around, read the news, play games, make music, watch films (and many, many more) through the touch of button or the slide of a screen.

But this technology has particularly revolutionised the way that blind and visually impaired people can make use of the world. Soon to be gone are the days that people rely on Braille to read what’s in front of them – talking and voice control apps are the way of the future.

Android leads the way with many incredible apps that change the accessibility of the world for people with visual impairment. Here is just a preview...

Walky-Talky

The greatest obstacle that people with visual impairment face every day is something that the rest of us completely take for granted...walking.

Most of us wouldn’t even be able to walk in a straight line with our eyes closed, let alone to the shops. Aids such as walking sticks and guide dogs have been a great solution in the past, but with the invention of apps such as Walky-Talky, a much easier option is now available.

The Walky-Talky App makes navigation for the visually impaired much simpler, and much more of a possibility.

It works in a very similar way to Satellite Navigation. You simply input your destination into the program, and it calculates the route for you and provides you with spoken directions. It also updates your location to the nearest street address as you go along.

Where it’s different from other apps is that it also downloads a built-in compass to your device. The compass is programmed to always point in the direction of your destination, so if you stray from the path or face the wrong direction your phone will vibrate to alert you that you have gone off-track. Very handy if you can’t see where you’re going.

Georgie

Created by Roger Wilson-Hinds, (visually impaired himself) and affectionately named after his wife’s first guide-dog, Georgie helps to navigate the visually impaired through day-to-day life.

It works using the same touch and swipe software that you see on all apps – but it makes extensive use of voice control software. If you hold your finger down on the screen and wait for the beep, your device will say aloud what function it is that you are pressing. This allows you to make sure you’re going where you want to go.

Georgie can be used to easily navigate your way around your device, but there is also a larger family of apps that you can download.

There is a Georgie Lifestyle App that can do functions such as read newspaper articles aloud to you. It also has very strong use of voice control whereby you are able to create blog posts by speaking into the device.

There is also a Georgie Travel App which can point out nearby points of interest. This also incorporates a helpful bus monitor which verbally tells you what time your next bus is expected.

This is only the beginning of applying technology to help people with visual impairment. Imagine what’s yet to come...

Steph McLean is fascinated by the never ending developments in technology. She loves to research the ways that it is being applied to good cause, to help people like those who struggle with poor sight. She is a copyrighter at Lenstore, an ecommerce retailer that sells cheap contact lenses.