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BlindSquare Makes FourSquare Accessible

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BlindSquare Makes FourSquare Accessible

BlindSquare integrates FourSquare with VoiceOver to read aloud locations to users who can't see their iOS device screen.

MIPsoft

iOS App Uses VoiceOver to Read Map Locations Aloud:

BlindSquare is an iOS app from Finnish developer MiPSoft that integrates FourSquare -- the popular location-based social networking website -- with VoiceOver, Apple's built-in screen reader.

The app is designed to help blind and visually impaired persons explore their surroundings and find places they can reach on foot or via public transportation.

Blind iPhone, iPod touch Users Can Access Virtually Any Location:

BlindSquare uses GPS and compass to fix a user's location. It then pulls data on one's surroundings from FourSquare and employs proprietary algorithms to decide what information is most relevant.

Users listen to FourSquare data read aloud on their iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch. The app provides a virtual sound map that includes street names and addresses, crossings, and nearby landmarks and services.

FourSquare organizes locations into categories, including arts and entertainment, colleges, food, the great outdoors, nightlife spots, residences, shops, and travel. All Foursquare locations are ranked based on the number of user "check-ins."

BlindSquare is easy to use: just shake your device to hear your current address. If it's a mapped FourSquare location, you can re-shake to check in. Whenever BlindSquare tells you about a place you like, you can mark it and the app will help you get there.

The app can be used anywhere in the world where Foursquare data is available.

Blind persons in Australia, Finland, and the United State beta-tested BlindSquare, which also incorporates data from OpenStreetMap.org, a global wiki-map anyone can edit.

Currently, language support is limited to English, Finnish, and Swedish. In addition to VoiceOver, the app uses Acapela synthetic speech.

BlindSquare 1.12 (released on May 31, 2012) requires iOS 5.0 and is compatible with iPhone 3GS, 4, and 4S; iPod touch (3rd & 4th generation); and the iPad.

The app sells for $14.95 and is available on iTunes.

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