Information about the ongoing 3D soundscaping Microsoft Project for outdoor navigation.

3D audio with bone conducting headset, high quality audio, using to navigate – UK based project, but a collaboration with the US. To help visually impaired navigate the world around them. Still being developed and improved, you don’t necessarily want to navigate using your phone all the time, having your phone out, this way you can just use sound.

Although ongoing from 2014 the Cities Unlocked project is still being improved and Jenny Lay-Flurrie, Microsoft’s Chief Accessibility Officer confirmed in November (2016) that the project is very much active.

Details include that wearers receive turn-by-turn directions to their destination. The headset notifies the user if they are straying from their path through audible cus, such as a ping if they do stray. This will also happen if too close to the edge of the pavement.

Also of interest to users will be that it will notify a user of local points of interest, this could be a coffee shop or newsagent or similar. The system will also be able to deliver real-time information about public transport and information such as “the train will be five minutes late”.

There are also trials with the system to notify the user based on previous information or journeys and it could notify you if you are passing a pub that you visited previously.

For complete and up to date information visit the microsoft mini site.

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