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Apps help the visually impaired find venues, people nearby

Published on Apr 29, 2014 6:14 AM
 
For the visually impaired, navigating through neighbourhoods can be a struggle, but apps aim to shed light on places, people, and obstacles that lie in their paths. -- FILE PHOTO: REUTERS

TORONTO (REUTERS) - For the visually impaired, navigating through neighbourhoods can be a struggle, but apps aim to shed light on places, people, and obstacles that lie in their paths.

There are 285 million visually impaired people worldwide, about 39 million of whom are blind, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Guide Dots, a free app for Android, detects a person's location and uses audio voice-overs to announce nearby attractions, including restaurants, shops - and even friends.

"We let people know what's around them more than a cane can, broadening their horizon more than a six foot circle around them," said Ms Deborah Vandeven, global chief creative officer at VML, based in Kansas City, Missouri, which created the app.

 
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