How can I navigate using electronic mobility aids or smartphone apps?

GPS apps, devices and software can give you information about your current location and how to get to your destination. They use a combination of maps and audible directions to help with navigation.

There is also a smart cane 'Ultra Cane' that is equipped with an ultrasound system that provides a hazard protection envelope in front of and forward of the head and chest of the user. Two ultrasound transducers provide range data on the closest potential hazards, such as plants, people, road signs, and over-hanging branches. You can buy one from the manufacturers website.

Devices and software

The Trekker Breeze is a handheld device that verbally announces streets, landmarks, bus stops and other places of interest around you. You can also record routes to your favourite destinations and save locations.

The BrailleNote is a small portable computer which can have GPS software installed on it and can then provide directions either through braille or audibly.

Smartphone apps

Google Maps and Apple Maps are in-built navigation tools on a smartphone that allow you to navigate. There are a number of apps such as Ariadne GPS and 'Where am I?' which you can use in conjunction with Apple and Google Maps.  These serve to augment rather than replace the mapping tools in question. 

The RNIB Navigator app which is subscription-based, and NowNav app which is paid-for, can both help you to plan your route and get to your destination more easily. Blind Square is an indoor and outdoor navigation app.

Smartphone apps such as CitymapperTraveline GB and Translink (for journeys in Northern Ireland only) can be a very helpful way to plan your journey on public transport.

Smartphone apps such as UK Bus Checker (paid-for app), Arriva Bus and NextBuses can tell you when the next bus is arriving, show bus stops and routes. UberHailo and Addison Lee taxi apps are all accessible and allow you to book taxis as well as track your journey and see where your taxi is.

For more information on planning your journey see: How can I plan my journey in advance? or contact our Helpline on:

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