Why are Indoor Navigation Apps for Visually-Impaired Users So Important Today?

A person with an iPhone next to a window inside a building

The widespread accessibility of GPS navigation aids has transformed daily life for people with visual impairments.

GPS-enabled apps offer audible directions and guidance to help those living with blindness or sight problems navigate the world with more independence. However, there is one major flaw with traditional GPS, one that prevents it being the essential lifestyle companion so many people need: GPS is unable to provide assistance indoors.

Needless to say, people who are blind or visually-impaired who visit place indoors find themselves at a disadvantage when trying to navigate without the tech they’re accustomed to.

Fortunately, there are solutions to this major predicament. Cutting-edge technology has allowed visionary creators to develop indoor navigation apps, designed to succeed where GPS fails.


What Makes Indoor Navigation Apps so Crucial?

Finding your way through an unfamiliar environment can be a struggle for everyone. But it’s much more difficult when you remove one of the body’s primary senses: sight.

Blind and visually-impaired people may find orienting themselves in strange locations (such as new shopping malls, hospitals etc.) especially difficult, and even upsetting. Nobody likes getting lost, but when you’re prevented from reading signs it’s so much harder.

Of course, this is only exacerbated by the presence of crowds, music, obstacles, and other potential distractions or hazards. They may be more dependent on the help of staff or strangers than they would like; this involves placing considerable trust in others, which may not be so easy for some of us, particularly if you have been taken advantage of in the past.

Indoor navigation apps and indoor orientation apps (read about the differences in our recent blog post here) help to overcome these problems and empower those living with sight-related disabilities to be more self-sufficient. This technology has the potential to completely open the doors to a more accessible world, but it’s still in its early stages.


The responsibility of businesses face

Businesses and organizations must do their part to embrace accessibility aids and cater to the needs of their blind or visually-impaired customers/users.

RightHear is an innovative indoor navigation app working with Bluetooth beacons installed in participating locations. Users can receive audible guidance throughout the building in question, receiving easy-to-follow directions to key places (such as a restroom, office, reception desk etc.).

Simply by installing small beacons on their property, these companies can become far more welcoming to people with sight-related disabilities and cater to a whole new demographic.

By using RightHear, people living with blindness or visual impairments can enjoy a higher degree of freedom when visiting certain establishments and venues.

RightHear is easy to use and provides all the details users need to find their way through a particular location without depending on assistance from others. For example, the app responds to changes in position: turning the phone from one direction to another will alert users to what lies ahead. It’s designed to be as responsive and intuitive as possible.

As we all become more understanding and accommodating of people with disabilities, evolving technology is allowing us to overcome old problems. Continuing advances and innovations will only keep empowering blind and visually-impaired individuals, enabling them more freedom to lead the lives they want to live.

Would you be able to navigate around your office building with your eyes closed? – let us know in the comments about the need for indoor navigation solution at your workspace.