Novartis launches the first app for visually impaired people for use with smart watches

Novartis on Tuesday announced the launch of the first step-by-step navigation app available on smart watches that is designed specifically for people who are visually impaired. The company noted that using the ViaOpta app with wearable devices, including the Apple Watch and Android Wear, "provides users with an experience that seamlessly fits into their existing routines, allowing those with visual impairments to navigate daily life with even greater ease."

Specifically, Novartis said its ViaOpta Nav app provides voice guidance and vibration settings to alert the user to upcoming intersections and landmarks. Users can also ask for their exact position, add waypoints to a planned route and find nearby destinations. Further, the data can be shared with the user's caretaker in order to access a person's exact location. Novartis added that the app coverage has been extended to the whole world.

Meanwhile, the company also detailed new features of its ViaOpta Daily app, which now allow users to identify objects in their field of vision by pointing the camera of the device at an object. Additionally, the app includes a scene recogniser feature in which the users can point the device's camera at a desired direction and a voiceover will indicate what is in front of them.

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