Montréal, QC – August 3, 2016 – Researchers at McGill University have developed an innovative technology so Canadians living with vision loss can better navigate the world around them.
After successfully testing its Autour application in Montréal, and with funding from the Canadian Internet Registration Authority’s Community Investment Program, the McGill team has launched an expanded version of the app to include cities across Canada.
The app overlays GPS, Google Maps, public transit and other data to provide audible instructions and descriptions to help guide users’ movements. The expanded and improved Autour app is available to iPhone users now via the Apple Store.
- Navigating a city, particularly the unfamiliar parts, can be difficult for those with visual impairments. Autour communicates to the visually impaired community the places around them and services available. In turn, individual users gain greater autonomy and confidence in exploring their environment - both in familiar areas and in previously unvisited parts of their cities.
- Autour works in cities across Canada, and is particularly useful in the large, metropolitan centres from which researchers scraped transit data. These include: Halifax, Quebec City, Greater Montréal, Sherbrooke, Ottawa-Gatineau, Toronto/GTA, Hamilton, Waterloo, Thunder Bay, Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Regina, Calgary, Greater Vancouver, and Victoria.
- Usability is a key factor making Autour the app of choice for the blind and visually impaired community. The expanded Autour features a new tutorial to give users a clear understanding of how the app works. The tutorial can even be used indoors, and in other environments where GPS may not be available.
- See Autour in action : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vtb6CRCkG2I
- Learn more about the app : http://autour.mcgill.ca/en/
- Download Autour now.
About CIRA’s Community Investment Program
Through the Community Investment Program, CIRA funds projects that demonstrate the capacity to build a better online Canada. The CIRA team manages Canada’s country code top-level domain on behalf of all Canadians. A Member-based organization, CIRA represents the interests of Canada’s Internet community internationally. To date, the Community Investment Program has supported 78 innovative projects across Canada with grants totalling $3.2 million.