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Microsoft’s Soundscape app is being retired

Microsoft's Soundscape app is being retired

Microsoft Research has been working on the development of the Soundscape app for over six years, and in 2018 launched an iOS app with the same name. Microsoft’s Soundscape program Unlike traditional turn-by-turn navigation programs, it uses 3D audio cues to increase environmental awareness and create comfort in unfamiliar spaces. This program was used especially for blind or visually impaired users. But Microsoft has decided to stop the development of this software in its company and by making it open source, it will pave the way for other developers of the open world of the Internet.

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Uninterpreted dreams for Microsoft’s Soundscape app

Microsoft plans to retire its Soundscape iOS app early next month, but as we mentioned in the introduction, it’s not killing development entirely.

It tells you where you are and where you’re going, and it’s powered by data from OpenStreetMap (which is a shared map of the world created by different people), and now it’s open source and free for the public to use.

For example, imagine if the Soundscape app could read aloud the names of stores, parks, streets, and intersections as you walk down a sidewalk. Features like street preview can help users build a mental map of a place, while markers and audio beacons make it easier to save points of interest and travel to them in sequence.

Although Soundscape is not intended to replace assistive devices such as a guide dog or cane, it complements these devices by enhancing awareness and understanding of your surroundings.

On January 3, 2023, the Soundscape iOS app will be removed from the Apple App Store. Those who have already installed the app will be able to use it until the end of June 2023.

Also on January 3rd, the Soundscape code will be available as open source software on GitHub. Microsoft said it will allow anyone to continue working and find new ways to use its new feature set. Documentation on how to build and use this system will also be provided to help newcomers.

Microsoft said that as their research portfolio evolves, it’s natural to end or move some projects. They believe that the community can benefit from the experiences they have developed as part of the project. For this reason, they release the code as open source software.

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