Google recently announced that it starting October 10th, on World Sight Day, would begin rolling out a new feature which offers detailed voice guidance and announcements for your walking navigation. This is great news for people with visual impairments, who until now might have been finding it difficult to confidently rely on navigations for their walking trips.
These new types of verbal announcements are helpful features as the voice guidance now will let you know if you’re on the right route, if you’re approaching intersections, and if there’s something you need to be extra cautious of coming up on your route. This can help people with vision impairments to feel more comfortable when they’re outside on their own and allow them to focus on what awaits them at their destination, rather than worrying about the journey there.
Wakana Sugiyama, who is legally blind, says: “With this feature, I can navigate the streets of Tokyo with more comfort and confidence. As I take my journey, Google Maps proactively lets me know that I’m on the correct route, the distance until my next turn and the direction I’m walking in.” As an early advisor and tester on the project, Sugiyama had the opportunity to help out with the development of the feature, and she hopes that the technology will give people more confidence when they want to navigate unfamiliar routes.
To turn on the detailed voice guidance, open your Google Maps settings and pick “Navigation”. Scroll down and you’ll be able to enable “Detailed voice guidance” beneath “Walking options”. The feature is currently only available in English in the United States and in Japanese in Japan, but Google Maps is working on adding support for more languages and countries in the near future.
If you want to learn more about Google Maps and other features and benefits of it, take a look at our Google Maps blog on the link below.