A new iPhone app developed in partnership with the Perkins School for the Blind will help the visually impaired find their way to bus stops — often a challenge for those using conventional GPS services on their smartphone.
BlindWays is available for free on the Apple App Store, and helps identify landmarks and other indicators so the user knows if they are at the right spot to meet their ride.
“We’re big believers in the power of technology to bring new solutions to old problems,” the school’s CEO and president Dave Power said at a news conference Tuesday. “One of those problems is finding the bus stop. It’s a harder problem than you may think for people that are visually impaired. If you can’t get to the bus stop on time, you’re not going to get to work, get to school or even to the movies.”
In an example discussed on the Perkins website, a user’s normal GPS may be able to get a pedestrian within 20 to 30 feet of a bus stop — but that’s when BlindWays kicks in, informing the user if he or she should, say, turn right at the metal trash can before discovering the stop on a patch of grass.