A 3D map that provides auditory building information and directions at a touch could provide the visually-impaired with a "last-mile" solution for areas where GPS will not function.
The map, created by a team from the IDeA Center in partnership with Touch Graphics, Inc., features buildings that have been coated with a conductive paint. As individuals feel their way around the models, the map will respond by vocalizing the names of buildings and streets and providing the user with directions. Users can also browse a simple menu that contains verbal explanations for all the points of interest at the particular location. The map has even been equipped with sound effects for various landmarks, such as bubbling fountain or chiming bells, which could also help the visually-impaired navigate to their destination.
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