Feature Writer Ann Chiapetta – Introducing the Seeing Eye GPS App

What does the oldest guide dog school in the U.S. have in common with the makers of the first blind friendly, pedestrian GPS device? A brand new app for the iPhone, of course.

For the price of a one or three year subscription, you can purchase the app and get the same high quality turn-by-turn walking directions that have only been available with Sendarro’s Trekker Breeze which lists for over $800.

Currently, the low cost, popular, off-the-shelf models like Garmin or Tom Tom GPS (short for Global Positioning System) devices come equipped with speech output but only for announcing routes and to input data. There is no speech output option for those who can’t read the screen and want to operate one of these nifty little doo dads.

Up until a few months ago, the only true, portable and fully accessible GPS device was the Trekker Breeze.

Despite the exorbitant price tag, it has been used for years by the blind community and was first tested by Guide Dogs for the Blind, among other blind and visually impaired user groups. Then, about four years ago, another smaller and less robust fully audible device called the Kaptain Plus was endorsed and is still used by Leader Dogs. I tested this and it was simple but the urban canyon effect blocked a lot of urban and suburban usage when walking in areas with tall buildings. It did have a usable voice command system, though.

Why am I so excited about this new app? I’ve listened to two podcasts demonstrating this Seeing Eye Sendarro app and I am very pleased with its performance.
To listen or read about this app, follow the links below.

For a podcast, go to: From Cool Blind Tech:

CBT#55, Seeing Eye GPS Demo

For a blog article, go to: “A Blind Man’s Journey” comes “Because Somebody Gotta Be the Goat: My initial thoughts on Seeing Eye GPS”:

For the Sendarro feedback page, go to: http://www.senderogroup.com/products/SeeingEyeGPS/segpsform.asp

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