Soundscape by Microsoft has landed Down Under!

Going anywhere can be stressful enough especially when you have a vision impairment or are even blind. What do you do then? Microsoft has developed an app called Soundscape which is innovative audio-based technology to enable people, particularly those with blindness or low vision, to build a richer awareness of their surroundings, thus becoming more confident and empowered to get around. The app gives information about surroundings with synthesized binaural audio. It can run in the background in conjunction with navigation or other applications to provide the user with additional context about the environment. A phone tracks movement using location and activity sensors, and lets an individual move toward a self-set audio beacon. Disability Tek is excited to announce that this technology has finally been released in Australia.  David Woodbridge, who has lived with low vision his entire life and is the assistive technology advisor for Vision Australia stated, “Rather than dictate what I should do, it allows me to make my own decisions based on the information it is providing, meaning I am always in control. For me, it really is about feeling stress free when I’m out and about,” he says.“When you come to an intersection and Soundscape tells you where you are, it will tell you that Guilder Drive is on the left in your left ear, and Green Road is on the right in your right ear. It’s almost a physical feedback.” 384,000 Australians will benefit from this app enabling them to get around more easily and be more independent. Vision Australia helped Microsoft to develop the app in Australia. Check out the video! You can download it here.