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BlindSquare — Helsinki

by Anne Miltenburg

The ubiquitous digital traces we leave throughout our cities can now be put to good use. The new smartphone app BlindSquare, developed in Helsinki, uses GPS, online maps and the recommendations of social media users to guide the visually impaired. Users can get directions through voice feedback based on their exact location, and can also save locations for future use—handy if you want to find that great grocery store again, or the house of a new friend. In addition to these functions, the app offers users extra features such as location-based recommendations: when walking down the street, users can receive tips on great cafés, social events or businesses they pass along their way. BlindSquare pulls this information from reviews on the popular app Foursquare, opening up a whole new world previously invisible to its users and therefore beyond their reach.

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