What is BlindSquare

BlindSquare is a solution that makes use of the latest features available in smartphones to aid the blind and visually impaired in their daily lives. It has been developed and tested in close cooperation with blind and visually impaired users. It has won both the national Apps4Finland competition and the European OpenCities App Challenge in 2012. BlindSquare is available for iPhone and iPad in the App Store. It supports additional accessories to enhance the user experience.

How does it work?

When BlindSquare has determined your location using your iOS-device’s GPS capabilities, it will look up information about your surroundings on FourSquare and Open Street Map. Employing unique algorithms, it will then ascertain the information most useful to you and speak it in a clear synthetic voice.

You can use BlindSquare for example to find the most popular café within a 200 meter radius or to find the nearest post office or the library. Shake your device to hear your current address, as well as information about the location of the nearest street intersection and venues around you. Track your destination, so BlindSquare will periodically announce the distance and direction while you are traveling. If you use BlindSquare to mark your position, it can help you to find this spot again later. BlindSquare possesses filters you can set, so you only hear the information you currently need. Have BlindSquare announce streets and saved places only, so you do not get overwhelmed by more information than you need. If you mark your saved places and Foursquare venues as Favorites, BlindSquare will always notify you when you reach them. Since BlindSquare saves your favorites and your places to iCloud, they get synched between all of your iOS-devices, and you can use BlindSquare on all of them.

Although you will need VoiceOver to operate the app, BlindSquare uses its own high quality Acapela voices in many different languages to announce information about your environment. This means you will always hear all of the information you need, even when you can’t touch the screen of your device, you lock the screen, or you use another app while BlindSquare is running in the background.

If you enjoy playing Foursquare, authorize BlindSquare to access your account, so you can check in at your favorite venues just by shaking your device. Set BlindSquare to share your check-ins on Facebook, Twitter, or to keep them private.

BlindSquare is available in English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Dutch, Finnish, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Czech, Russian, Estonian, Polish, Arabic, Turkish, Portuguese and Hungarian.

For more information about BlindSquare, please read our frequently asked questions.

See also

14 comments on “What is BlindSquare
  1. Blind Fury says:

    Good app!! Would be handy if Blindsquare worked in lock screen. Secondly, although it is compatible with Navigon, it could be better if Navigon’s simulation could somehow be worked into Blindsquare when planning a route . This means you could hear a virtual journey with all intersections and various pois from start to destination.

    • Ile says:

      Thank you for your ideas. We listen and we do. Now you can find both background operation (works with lock screen) and support for Navigon, TomTom etc. in BlindSquare :-)

  2. Jamie Devine Junior says:

    Please I am founder of NICEF NGO in Nigeria. HQ in Lagos we work with the less fortunate in our society, in the eduction sector
    . One Project on the ground involves working with Blind youth – can this app work in Nigeria. We have GPS systems here, so is this an area we can discuss? Thankyou

  3. Cler O. says:

    Hi, my name is Cler Oliveira and I am brazilian (sorry for my bad English), Journalist and blogger. My blog is to test apps to disable people. For while I can’t test apps for iOS, just Android. I’d like to know if, in future, blindsquare, will be found on Google play store.

  4. Attila says:

    Hello,
    I’ve been a BlindSquare owner just for 2 days. I’m amazed. It’s really great.
    It’s a big pity it doesn’t support my mother tongue, however with US English I can guess best what it really means.
    I have also Navigon installed in my iPhone but when I choose “planning a route” in BlindSquare I’m lost.
    It switches then to Navigon and I just don’t know how to go on.
    If I were satisfied with Navigon itself as a blind individual, I probably would never come to BlindSquare.
    So can you tell me please what “planning a route” means in terms of BlindSquare?
    Thank you very much in advance and great congratulations.

    • Ile says:

      What is you mother tongue? Currently we are working on Portuguese, Estonian and Hungarian.

      Have you set your BlindSquare to run on background? So, when you start Navigon, it will guide you “turn-by-turn” so it will tell, when you need to turn left pr right. BlindSquare will stay on background warning about street crossings in advance, reporting street addresses, places etc.

      You can double tap home screen to activate BlindSquare again if you need to do new search etc.

  5. Saed says:

    Hi, it can be very bettre if blindsquare could anonce side of the passing by ways. I hope soon coming more updates for blindsquare. thank you

  6. cedric (france) says:

    Great !
    Very intuitive way of telling what’s around.
    I just regret a few things:
    -the interface is not very easy (too much menus to open…). It can be optimized
    -A very helpful accessory would be a dort of belt to know what direction to follow to reach a certain point (angle) with a feedback (vibrations?) about angle and distances.
    -very fluent
    -i regret there is no shortcut to know what’s around, and would appreciate an easier way to quickly change the perimeter over which the search is made.
    -very good idea to be compatible with navigon and independent of voice over.
    Thank you for your work, waiting for some other improvements!

  7. Leo says:

    This app is amazing. I bought it before moving back to Northwest Portland. I’ve been blind my entire life, and the one thing that often bugs me about cane travel is needing to keep the running mental narrative of what street I’m at. Everyone knows your mind wanders, you’re thinking about something else, work, the kids, even just something you passed by. BlindTquare alleviates this problem. But, but, but, … There’s more!
    I moved back into a neighborhood I’d lived in before. But one thing about being blind, you miss a lot just generally running around. I was amazed at what I found just turning on a couple of options, and having it tell me what I passed. BlindSquare is a great addition to the iOS ecosystem, and I for one am really impressed! I haven’t tried turn by turn because I grew up on these streets and so I know the place, and the addressing system, like the back of my hand. Yet even for it to tell me bus, streetcar and train stops is amazing! I haven’t lived here since before willevery had access to iOS, and now it’s as though Portland just got a brand-new look, all because of BlindSquare and the iPhone!ac

  8. David Heilman says:

    Great product, but what is the price?

    Thanks,

    Dave

    • Ile says:

      Price is 24 USD. It is one time fee, including all updates. There has been average 1 update / month, so you will get continuous improvements over time.

2 Pings/Trackbacks for "What is BlindSquare"
  1. [...] your way without sight with the Blindsquare app. Ever heard of the 404-error? And remember the brilliant Notfound.org? Here’s the [...]

  2. [...] Pirttimma believed the concept could expand to audio; thus, the idea for BlindSquare was born. The BlindSquare app provides “a new solution that combines the latest technology to help the daily life of the [...]

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