Soundscape Community Brings Popular Navigation App Back
The popular Microsoft app Soundscape has been widely credited for its ability to allows blind and low vision users to navigate their surroundings using location markers and turn-by-turn directions.
But despite the app being a hit in the community, Microsoft took the decision to ‘sunset’ it in 2022, and decided to open source the code so others could continue the work they had begun.
However, this caused deep concern within the blind community, with many listeners writing in to Double Tap sharing their fears for its future. However, those fears have been allayed after a number of new projects started up in 2023 using the open source code Microsoft left behind.
One such project is Soundscape Community, and has been formed by one of the original creators of the app, Jarnail Chudge, along with partners including the NCBI (National Council for the Blind in Ireland).
Jarnail joined Steven and Shaun, along with two members of NCBI – David Redmond and Aiofe Buckley – to talk about the latest incarnation of the project.
The ‘Other Soundscape’ App
You may have heard about another project by the Scottish Tech Army. It uses the original name Soundscape and is a different app. Listen to Kirsty Jackson from Scottish Tech Army explain the origin of the new Soundscape development with one of the original founders of Microsoft Soundscape, and members of the NCBI.