New app helps the blind find their way easier

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A mobile app called WayAround, first introduced earlier this year to help persons with vision loss find items within the home, is now more widely available.

Its developers say the iPhone-based app now also is available in an Android version.

Both versions enable blind individuals, often getting assistance from family or friends, to create tags for a specific item, such as a certain piece of clothing. The tag—with embedded information about the clothing—is placed on the clothing or any other type of item, and the information also is stored on a smartphone or other mobile device.

A person with partial or total vision loss can go to the closet to get a charcoal suit with light pinstripes, hold the phone close to the clothes, and be verbally prompted when the phone reaches the right item.

Tags, which are available as a sticker, magnet, button or clip, can be put anywhere—on furniture, televisions, the refrigerator, the phone and doors, among other areas.

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The tags have embedded chips and can be created to handle as many as 2,000 characters describing an item. Tags can be made to give laundry instructions and to verbally identify best-before-dates on food.

Following introduction of the iPhone mobile app in January, work to development the Android app started in earnest, said Armand Fisher, co-founder of WayAround. “WayAround offers life-changing information for those of us with vision loss and our team of developers have worked diligently to make the app available to Android users as soon as possible.”

The WayAround app for iPhone and Android devices is free. More information is available here.

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