Microsoft Soundscape uses 3D audio technology to enhance your awareness of what is around you, and thereby help you get around and explore your surroundings.
Soundscape will place audio cues and labels in 3D space such that they sound like they are coming from the direction of the points of interest, parks, roads and other features in your surroundings.
You will need a pair of stereo headsets that you feel comfortable wearing outdoors. For example, bone conduction headsets, Apple AirPods and in-ear open headphones have proven to work well.
Soundscape is designed to live in the background and provide you with effortless ambient awareness. Therefore, feel free to use it in conjunction with other apps such as podcasts, audio books, email and even GPS navigation.
- As you walk, Soundscape will automatically call out the key points of interest, roads and intersections that you pass. These can be adjusted and turned on and off.
- An audio beacon can be placed on a point of interest, and you will hear it as you move around. You can place an audio beacon on a point of interest that you would like to track such as your destination, a point to return to or a landmark you are familiar with.
- “My location” describes your current location and the direction you are facing
- “Around me” describes nearby points of interest in each of the four cardinal directions, helping with orientation. Try this out when getting off a bus or leaving a train station.
- “Ahead of me” describes points of interest in front of you, for example when walking down the street.
- The expandable Callout History section lets you review callouts you have heard, repeat callouts, hear more information about them, and more.
We hope you enjoy the experience. We believe that this kind of technology offers a new way to relate to the environment around you and we can’t wait to hear what you make of it.
If at any time you have any questions about Soundscape, please refer to the Help & Tutorials section available on the main menu or if you require further help then you can contact the Disability Answer Desk on 1-800-936-5900 which is a free of charge service.
- You no longer need to close Soundscape to save battery! Just select “Sleep” on the home screen to suspend Soundscape’s use of GPS for a period of time. You can choose to restart soundscape manually, otherwise if you choose to "wake when leaving", Soundscape will snooze and wake automatically when you continue your journey, ensuring that you are up and running effortlessly.
- Improvements to beacon callouts while in a vehicle: try setting a beacon to your destination when on a bus or taxi to keep track of your progress. The frequency of beacon callouts will increase as you get nearer to your destination. You will also notice that bus stops are now listed as nearby locations and can be selected when setting a beacon.
- Smart Invert support: if you have the Smart Invert accessibility feature turned on, the color scheme of Soundscape will not be inverted since it already has a dark background and light foreground.
Ratings and Reviews
I work as an O&M instructor with people who are blind and have visually impairments and I’m loving this app! Biggest wish is that we could add beacons based on dropping a pin on a map and then re-labeling it instead of having address as label. For reference points, sometimes you need breadcrumbs and you can’t do that unless you know addresses or businesses along your route.
Delighted with your feedback thank you for making the time. We’re on it, stay tuned
Turn by turn directions needed
This developer is very Receptive of feedback. However, I would love to have turn by turn directions in this application. I don’t want to be forced to have to open two apps just to get that job done. Please fix this as soon as possible.
Will radically change how I navigate.
It is awesome to hear what’s around me. My wife and I will be using this a lot. It would be nice to have turn by turn directions built right into the app though.
- Microsoft Corporation
- 252.8 MB
- Requires iOS 10.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone 5s, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone SE, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone X, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone XR, iPad Air Wi-Fi + Cellular, iPad mini 2 Wi-Fi + Cellular, iPad Air 2 Wi-Fi + Cellular, iPad mini 3 Wi-Fi + Cellular, iPad mini 4 Wi-Fi + Cellular, 12.9-inch iPad Pro Wi-Fi + Cellular, 9.7-inch iPad Pro Wi-Fi + Cellular, iPad Wi-Fi + Cellular (5th generation), 12.9-inch iPad Pro Wi‑Fi + Cellular (2nd generation), 10.5-inch iPad Pro Wi‑Fi + Cellular, and iPad Wi-Fi + Cellular (6th generation).
- Age Rating
- Rated 4+
- This app may use your location even when it isn't open, which can decrease battery life.
- © 2018 Microsoft. All rights reserved.
With Family Sharing set up, up to six family members can use this app.