Currently, there are more than 285 million visually impaired people worldwide. While they can go from place to place, they have no awareness of what’s passed on the way. Guide dogs help, but they are trained to avoid obstacles, not find new places. Without tools to help explore and discover the world, they miss out on an essential part of the human experience. 


We developed a solution that combined smartphone accessibility with a global database of location information. The result was Guide Dots, an audio guide map users interact with via Android’s “explore by touch” functionality. With one tap, a button is read aloud, a double tap then activates the last button the user heard, providing a user experience optimized for the visually impaired.

This free app uses location data from Google Places and Facebook Nearby together with proprietary crowd-sourced GPS locations. Guide Dots calls out locations and intersections, finds friends who have checked in nearby, and informs users about special offers.