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Google Maps’ New Voice Guidance to Help the Visually Challenged Navigate

Google Maps has announced new improvements that would help visually challenged people navigate more easily.

It would offer more detailed voice guidance and new types of verbal announcements for walking trips, said Wakana Sugiyama, a business analyst in Google’s Tokyo office who was an adviser and tester for the project on Thursday.

“Starting today, World Sight Day, Google Maps is rolling out a new feature that gives people the ability to receive more detailed voice guidance and new types of verbal announcements for walking trips. This feature is the first in Google Maps to be built from the ground up by, and for, people with vision impairments. I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to work closely with the Maps team on this project as an early advisor and tester—outside of my day job as a business analyst in the Tokyo office,” she said in a blog post.

“Frequent updates like these not only help a visually impaired person get from A to B, they can also give us more confidence and reassurance when we travel alone,” she added.

Currently, it is available in English in the US and Japanese in Japan for Google Maps on Android and iOS. The feature is for visually challenged people, but could also be very helpful for those who wanted a more screen-free experience on their next walking trip.

It could be accessed from the Google Maps settings under the Navigation section. There you’ll see Detailed voice guidance, beneath the Walking options heading.

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