A common statement that we encounter in today’s world is that technology has made our world smaller, but from the perspective of the visually impaired and blind persons, technology is instrumental in opening up a whole new world to them. The people impaired of vision face a never-ending challenge of coping with the impairment. There are pieces of equipment for their aid such as reading glasses and Braille but nonetheless, their struggle remains a tough one. With the advent of smartphones, a whole new dimension has opened up to them.
There are apps and then there are helpful apps. Many smartphone apps have come across as beneficial and are aiding to the blind and visually impaired. They provide them a way to make their lives a bit easier with their proper and easy to use functioning. Here is a list of the top most useful apps available for smartphones.
Navigation is one of the toughest things visually challenged persons have to encounter on a daily basis. If it’s for a solo walk or for going to an important destination in the city, the person has to navigate his way through the roads and alleys. This app aids them brilliantly by using a user-friendly interface. It contains maps that talk back to users and gives them necessary directions for navigation. One can get voice guidance by moving one’s fingers over the map. It signals you when crossing a street by means of a vibration. You can also save favorites such as train stations or bus stops. It also has a rotation feature that allows you to remain centered while navigating. (» iOS)
We often fail to recognize or acknowledge it but color plays an important role in our daily lives. Such as the color of the sky, color of charging bar of your phone, the color of your eyeliner and that of the tie you are wearing with your shirt. All these colors indicate essential aspects that are very crucial for everyday existence. Color ID hence helps the blind people recognize color in everyday events and objects in the most friendly and effective manner. All the users have to do is point the cameras towards the object and it will announce its color. Surprisingly accurate and easy to use, this app is a must have for every visually challenged person. It also contains sets of colors such as the basic ones and also the advanced ones like fresh apricot. (» iOS / Android)
Handling money can be quite a challenge for the blind people. Fortunately, the coins have a definite shape and size so that it is easier to recognize just by touch. But paper money is altogether a different game, a very hard one. This amazing app comes to their aid very efficiently. It announces the denomination of the paper money once you point at it with your smartphone camera. It is very accurate and takes minimum time for the operation. (» iOS)
by Google Inc.
A mobile phone is one thing that you cannot do without. In fact, all these applications will come of some help when you are able to use a smartphone. This app simply helps a visually challenged person use a smartphone by providing him voice guidance. It actually tells the blind people what he is doing with his smartphone, by announcing what he has just touched or selected. It can also read text messages and speaks up every action done on your smartphone. (» Android)
Curb - The Taxi App
Blind people always face the problem of finding a dispatcher when they require a taxi booking. They either do not find one or feel bad for causing trouble for others. This app relieves him of all the worries and provides an easy and user-friendly platform for booking a taxi. It tells the user when the taxi is approaching you and also has a tracker that can track the taxi expenses. Advance payment using credit cards is also available. Currently, Taxi Magic is active in more than 4000 cities and is proving to be a must-have app. (» iOS / Android)
Magnifier Magnifying Glass
This app isn’t really for blind people but for people who have slight impairments in their vision, this app is a lifesaver. Equipped with a flashlight this app provides instant magnification this app is perfectly beneficial for reading small prints on labels and bills and can also serve a variety of other purposes. It can be used in Movie halls, in restaurants or at any other places where there is not enough lighting. A minimum distance of 4 inches has to be kept from the object for the app to function properly. It also has basic features which enhance viewing for the visually weak persons. (» Android)
Keeping lists is an everyday aspect for all people and this application rich in features allows recording and organizing of lists for the visually impaired in a brilliant way. It contains Braille displays and it is integrated with VoiceOver so that list keeping becomes easy for the visually challenged. The gestures are custom made such as tap and tilt and it also comes with an optional stereo. The recording quality is also A class and hence provides an effective platform for managing lists. (» iOS)
The blind as well as the visually challenged face problems every day in identifying objects that they encounter. This app helps them enormously by announcing the name of the object that is captured in the camera. The picture of the object can be taken at any angle and under any circumstances and the app will work just fine and identify the object accurately. It is one of the most rated apps available on a smartphone. (» iOS / Android)
Another navigation app that provides excellent navigation for the blind people and solves any problem regarding their everyday navigation. It actually relieves them of any requirement of a guide and makes moving around the city much easier for the visually impaired. It has a built-in compass and also receives frequent updates which ensure the users are being navigated properly. In case they move go in the wrong direction the app vibrates and notifies it to the user. (» Android)
Be My Eyes – Helping the blind
by Be My Eyes
The most revolutionary and most talked about app on the smartphone arena is Be My Eyes. It establishes a connection between visually challenged persons and persons with healthy sight using live video. The user first requests for assistance on the app. Every volunteer on the app receives those requests. If he or she accepts it then a connection via live video is established. Therefore, the volunteer can help the visually impaired person with all the answers that he requires about his surroundings or any other object. (» iOS)