Google Maps updated with enhanced voice guidance for visually impaired peoples


It's now rolling out for English users in the USA and for Japanese in Japan.

As you can see from the above video, this is not merely a way for the visually impaired to get walking directions - Google is empowering visually impaired people to have their freedom and independence.

It's great to see Google taking steps to make its products more accessible - particularly Google Maps, which has the potential to make people more independent, and let them explore new places with confidence.

"As a legally blind woman living in Tokyo, I know that getting around unfamiliar environments can be a challenge", Google business analyst Wakana Suglyama wrote in a blog post.

But it doesn't mean that this feature can not be used or helpful for people who are totally normal.

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The new features provide more detailed voice guidance, as well as new verbal announcements for walk trips.

For those of you in the US and Japan, Detailed Voice Guidance rolls out from today on Android and iOS.

Some of the features you can expect from Google Maps includes the app proactively telling you if you're on the correct route and also the distance until the next turn you need to make. They can equally enjoy these features if they want to enjoy screen-free walking experiences. It will even ask you to cross with added caution for larger intersections and notify you when you are not on the right route.

"With detailed voice guidance in Google maps, my journey fades into the background and I can focus more on what I'll do at my final destination", Suglyama said. You can easily access the feature by selecting "Settings" menu in Google Maps, tapping on "Navigation" then "Walking options" and finally the 'Detailed Voice Guidance'.

World Sight Day acknowledges people with blindness and vision impairment on the second Thursday of October every year. That is, I never considered it until I saw Google's brand-new feature that was simply added to Google Maps.