Friday, October 8, 2010

Walking About With A Talking Android

Walking About With A Talking Android

1 Walking About With a Talking Android

I have long relied on spoken directions from Google Maps on the desktop. As I access more and more of my online world through my Android phone, Google's recent announcement of GMM4.5 enhanced with walking directions means that I now have superior functionality to what I have enjoyed at my desk --- but now with the added benefit of having it all in my pocket!

Inclusion of step-by-step walking directions on Android now allows me to specify a destination on my TalkBack enabledeyes-free Android device, and have these spoken to me as I walk. But wait, there's more!

We're launching a new member of our Eyes-Free family of programs for Android --- WalkyTalky that goes hand-in-hand with spoken walking directions from Google Maps to better navigate the physical world. In addition,application Intersection Explorer allows me to explore the layout of streets using touch before venturing out with WalkyTalky.

1.1 WalkyTalky

WalkyTalky is an Android application that speaks the address of nearby locations as you pass them. It also provides more direct access to the walking directions component of Google Maps. With WalkyTalky installed, you can:

  • Launch WalkyTalky to specify a destination,
  • Either specify the destination by address, or pick from favorites or recently visited locations,
  • And in addition to spoken walking directions,
  • Hear street addresses as you walk by.

These spoken updates, in conjunction with the walking directions that are spoken by Google Maps help me navigate the physical world as efficiently as I navigate the Internet.

1.2 Intersection Explorer

Often, I like exploring a neighborhood to learn the layout of the streets before actually venturing out with my trusty companion,Hubbell Labrador, and this is where Intersection Explorer comes into its own. Using this application, I can explore any neighborhood on Google Maps via touch exploration.

1.2.1 How It Works

  • Intersection Explorer starts off at the user's current location.
  • One can change the start position by entering an address, to do this, press menu and click on new location.
  • Once the map has loaded, touching the screen speaks the streets at the nearest intersection.
  • Moving one's finger along a compass direction, and then tracing a circle speaks each street at that intersection along with the associated compass direction.
  • Presence of streets is cued by a slight vibration as one traces the circle.
  • Lifting up the finger when on a street moves in that direction to the next intersection, speaks the distance moved, and finally speaks the newly arrived-at intersection.

1.3 Summary

Together, Intersection Explorer and WalkyTalky, in conjunction with Walking Directions from Google Maps brings a new level ofaccess to my physical world. I use these tools in conjunction with other Maps-based applications such as the Places Directory on Android --- this is another application from the Google Maps team that works fluently with TalkBack on Android to help me find nearby attractions or other locations of interest.

So next time you take your trusty Android out for a walk, make sure to give these new tools a spin --- you can report back on your experience via our Eyes-Free Group.

Applications WalkyTalky and Intersection Explorer can be downloaded from the Android Market.Share And Enjoy, and as usual, remember, The Best Is Yet To Come!

Author: T.V Raman

Date: 2010-09-09 Thu

HTML generated by org-mode 7.01 in emacs 24




QR Code for WalkyTalky:
QR code for WalkyTalky


QR Code for Intersection Explorer:
QR code for Intersection Explorer

78 comments:

  1. I don't have a android MOBILE otherwise I should try it. Sounds good. Wish all the success in your future projects.

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  2. Can't Walkie be connected with any other mobile? There are a lot more mobiles as such.

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  3. i will think about it later ....aft graduation

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  4. The name WalkyTalky sounds very old...it doesint sound digital at all.

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  5. WT FC on Desire 2.2. Have also heard it to FC on Legend 2.1

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  6. I had problems with Walking Directions in Downtown Chicago. Can't seem to keep a stable lock on satellite. Also seems to put me in the middle of buildings and reroutes me even though I am on correct path. I hope this gets better.

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  7. so cool. I am going to try it.

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  8. I tried WalkyTalky and for some odd reason I got driving directions and not walking directions. Have you heard about this problem? Am I doing something wrong?

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  9. It's such a good idea. but unfortunately, i don't own any android phone to test the application.

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  10. I'm and Orientation and Mobility Instructor. What and excellent idea. I cant wait to try it

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  11. of course an innovative idea. hopefully it would attract a million pupils.

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  12. Sounds like a good idea. Could also help visually impaired individuals. Good features and benefits all around.

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  13. han han ! i don't know how to download it ..........

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  14. I got a question about google.
    If I have an new idea and want to share it with google, whom should I talk to or email to?

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  15. I am about to by a smartphone. I want the best and woth Android. Wich one should i buy?

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  16. With Android 2.2 on my phone, I have lost the Android Market Icon and thus unable to download Apps.. SAD
    you have a solution?

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  17. please make it for Symbian os also

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  18. Could you target this at UK buses and trains? Over the last few years, buses and trains here have introduced audio announcements of stops, sometimes before and after the stop!
    It drives regular travellers bonkers! It ruins the quality of the journey and prevents proper reading during the journey, for many people.
    Visually impaired people, tourists and people on a new route could be helped by your app instead!
    Please help!

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  19. WalkyTalky Great idea, that would be useful to FEDEX / UPS delivery drivers (believe me ;)

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  20. This is great...makes driving a lot safer if you don't have to constantly look at your GPS. I also like how it can say the addresses of buildings as you pass by them. Nice idea

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  21. I give you two thumbs up on the concept (haven't tried it yet, but it sounds very good). Being concerned about my visually impaired friends, these are both great ideas.

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  22. Animesh you can take it and reset it to the factory settings and that should replace the android market icon on your desktop.

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  23. This app sounds great! I have a lot of trouble finding certain places especially when I have to constantly look down at my GPS. This sounds like a good solution to that, nice job!

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  24. This App is awesome, I liked it very much
    BLOGERR

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  25. aircel pocket apps has comeup wid lots of applications like maps n directions,news , games, listening to radio lots more ..how is ur product different n even ur services..how r u gonna create a space for u in the indian market just wid one app..yours is just one app..they hav loads..all-in-one.

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  26. amazing! http://techfreqnews.com

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  27. Вот тупицы хы-гы.Ваща идите в задницу.Ха-ха!

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  28. You know what may be a concept to think about are eyes on the front of the phone. Increasingly, I see people reading text messages, books, news, whatever it is they read on their phone and then BAM! They bump into a person, a pole, a wall, or anything else you can imagine. Why not utilize the camera of the phone like on the back of vehicles that are motion based. So, if you're getting ready to bump into someone it warns you. Just a thought. Love the concept just as it is. Makes me want to buy an Android!

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  29. its a grt idea... looking forward to it...

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  30. The idea of this app. sounds great, but with the number of Blackberry and I phone users it sounds limited. I'm sure the development is in the works for other smart phone devices.

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  31. It probably won't work in my country.

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  32. this sounds really cool,hope the voice will work clearly and the satellite cooperates well.good job google

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  33. It is great change in locating.. People say its a small world, with WalkyTalky its not only a small world but its visible too...

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  34. People say its a small world, with WalkyTalky its not only a small world but its visible too...

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  35. I have a disconnected android, would be great if it can be activated without going through a carrier like T-mobile.

    Good luck on all you do. Lillian

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  36. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  37. Would be very helpful in our country by absence of street indicators.

    Cornel

    ask4green@gmail.com

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  38. I don't have an Android Mobile, but some friends have one, maybe I should to try it.

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  39. Hi!This is Alex , i have an idea to suggest u..
    As an additional feature for the users to have the images of the favorite locations in their favorites. This makes the user more friendly to this talking android.

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  40. Tyab Unnisa said : Hi, WalkyTalky is a good concept, more people should be aware that it exists. it will be a great help especially for Job hunters.

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  41. well so far so good!what's inc.....

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  43. its not yet available for India :(

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  44. please make sure that it is ithinreach to all people's pocketin developing nationsespecially India

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  45. I think you should add a "Having Trouble" button on Google Nav, which would activate the auditory address-reading feature this app offers (without navigating away from Nav).

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  46. People like u make android go up in market.Really sounds good wish i have one phone with me to try this app..Great work bro..

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  47. will this app work in india??????

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