Google is rolling out a new feature designed to help people with visual impairments get around. The feature provides detailed voice guidance to those who need it, helping them get from A to B on foot. While it’s aimed at the visually impaired, anyone can use it.
While people with perfect eyesight wouldn’t think twice about going for a walk, it can be a little trickier for people with impaired vision. Especially if they want to venture somewhere they have never been before. Thankfully, Google is on hand to help.
How to Use Google Maps’ Detailed Voice Guidance
Google unveiled Maps’ new detailed voice guidance feature in a post on The Keyword. Wakana Sugiyama, a business analyst at Google, explains that this is the first Google Maps feature “to be built from the ground up by, and for, people with vision impairments.”
Detailed voice guidance gives people “audio information when they’re walking to their destination using Google Maps”. Google has posted a video showing how the feature works, with Sugiyama following the instructions guiding her from A to B.
Sugiyama said, “With this feature, I can navigate the streets of Tokyo with more comfort and confidence. As I take my journey, Google Maps proactively lets me know that I’m on the correct route, the distance until my next turn and the direction I’m walking in.”
To enable detailed voice guidance, open the Google Maps app and go to your Settings. Select Navigation, and then scroll down until you see Walking Options > Detailed Voice Guidance. Flip the switch to enable the feature, and then explore your surroundings.
Google Maps Is Getting More Useful With Every Update
Detailed voice guidance is rolling out gradually on Google Maps. It’s launching first on Android and iOS in English in the United States and Japanese in Japan. However, Google is promising to add support for additional countries and languages over time.
Google Maps gets more useful with every passing day. After all, Google Maps now offers augmented reality directions, warns you about speed traps, and helps you plan group events. And now it can even help visually impaired people navigate their way across town.