McGill University researchers have developed an app to guide people living with vision loss as they navigate their daily life.
Autour initially began testing in Montreal, and has now expanded to include cities across Canada thanks to funding from the Canadian Internet Registration Authority’s Community Investment program. CIRA is dedicating a total of $1 million to 25 Canadian projects.
“Our lab has long taken an approach of focusing on technology projects with a social impact, so our experience with spatial audio and mobile interaction led us naturally to work with the visually impaired community,” said Jeremy Cooperstock, one of the McGill University researchers. “We have truly enjoyed the experience of working with members of the community, and believe that the valuable input we received makes Autour the most user-friendly app available today – a go-to piece of technology that will improve the lives of the people who use it.”
The app overlays GPS, Google Maps, public transit and other data to provide audible instructions and descriptions to help guide users’ movements, and the app communities the places and services around them as users travel. The expanded Autour app is available to iPhone users via the Apple Store.
Cities that work with Autour include Halifax, Quebec City, Greater Montréal, Sherbrooke, Ottawa-Gatineau, Toronto/GTA, Hamilton, Waterloo, Thunder Bay, Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Regina, Calgary, Greater Vancouver, and Victoria.