Detailed Voice Guidance Comes to Google Maps

Detailed Voice Guidance Comes to Google Maps


[both speaking Japanese] Sugiyama: One of my hobbies
is to try new things and getting outside of my comfort zone. I like trying to push my limits and broaden my horizons
about what I can do. I’m legally blind. There is probably some fear associated with
not knowing my surroundings. When I decide not to the journey, I feel somewhat left alone
or excluded. Nguyen:
Hearing her perspectives the first time is really eyes opening to me because I’ve never lived
in that situation. Hearing Wakana’s story,
that make me realize that’s a problem,
and we need to solve it. Sugiyama: Detailed voice guidance
gives people audio information when they’re walking
to their destination using Google Maps. [voice guidance in Japanese] It’s sort of like announcements
I hear on trains and buses. [voice guidance in Japanese] It fills some of the gaps
that I would otherwise experience with not knowing the surroundings and also,
especially focusing on segments that I might find
particularly challenging, such as larger intersections. [voice guidance in Japanese] Having this additional information
to fill in the gaps makes me feel more confident. I can relatively focus more
on what I’ll do at my final destination. I believe everyone
should have the ability to experience the world around them and feel a sense of belonging
wherever they’re physically at. Having access to new experiences
makes me feel more included. My intention, definitely,
in developing this feature is to help people
in similar circumstances to open up possibilities.

42 COMMENTS

    Marvelous thinking.. truly amazing feature! I hope Google continues the path to stay on top and continue to bring us farther into the future!

    Hope people that use headphones with this don’t solely rely on it and still be able to hear their surroundings.

    Not only this is a cool feature for accessibility and blind users, but for normal people too. Like when we're using walk directions, we don't need to always hold our phones on our hands, which is also can be dangerous when walk commuting and not leave the display always turned on, so we're able to save battery too.

    The ideal solution is we're gonna wear Bluetooth earbuds, then the detailed walk directions will say to us what's coming up, traffic changes, road closure, and where to turn next. You need more detailed info, get your phone on your pocket and turn on the display, it'll show the walking nav map.

    Also please have Dark Mode for Maps ASAP. Both for app and the website

    Super necesario, y no sólo para las personas con necesidades especiales, sino también para cuando uno está de viaje y teme sacar su celu en la calle.

    Use their disability against them to spy on them, that's classy. Kinda like when they took advantage of homeless people and scanned their faces for half a slice of bread.

    Engineer sees a problem, engineer finds a solution. Well done to the team behind this, an excellent addition. Assume we can submit edits for it in the future if we find mistakes?

    This may work well with the new credit card sized Companion phone from Palm/Verizon. It runs Android and I believe It can be worn around the neck like a lanyard. The near proximity would help audio clarity and free up her (or anyone) hands. Thanks. https://www.bestbuy.com/site/reviews/verizon-palm-titanium/6309104?page=2 It sounds like they just need to find a way to minimize battery use during navigation.

    Excellent! I travel around the World with low vision. In Japan were first instituted the tactile paving or Tenji blocks and now they can guide even inside buildings or shops. People respect me while walking in populated places, and if I touch with my backpack someone I haven’t seen, although it’s my fault, they say “sorry”.

    We were trying to do this under an open source project. Good to know that google released the much needed feature. Here is the link to our GitHub repository. Interested volunteers are welcome to help us in our cause. https://github.com/aamba

    Thanks Google! I truly appreciate your progress to help everyone always have the same opportunities in this world! Thanks!

    I would like to keep in touch with Duong Nguyen about having access to this fonctionnality in France.

    I was a user of the Kapsys' Kapten all-in-one "no screen" GPS solution, which did a great job back in 2008 to help visually impaired people to better understand their surroundings, even if this wasn't the original intended purpose of this product !

    As a GPS designed for "smart urbans" it still has the best voice guidance for cycle, motorbike (with increased sound compression to cover the sound of the motor !) and pedestrian navigation (with great guidance on intersections, ability to compute multi- itineraries with "railed" public transports (trramway / underground train)… and counter-clockwise guidance on roundabouts when it is shorter !).
    And this was only a small part of what this tiny product can do ! See the user manual for more: https://fccid.io/XW2KAPTEN/Users-Manual/User-Manaul-II-1204097

    Kapsys GPS evolved from this tiny sized GPS (about the size of a lighter !) into Kapten Mobility, mainly the same hardware with a string emphasis for blind people ("explore" function to follow nearby roads, ability to trigger speakers from traffic lights, ability to setup voice speed), and since 2017 a full-fledged smartphone based on Android accessibility.called "SmartVision2".

    As a result I guess the Kapsys team would be very pleased to work with Duong Nguyen on improving pedestrian navigation further both for their product and for Google maps.

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