Novartis Pharmaceuticals launches the first app for visually impaired people for use with the Apple Watch and other smart watches
Novartis press release pageBasel, June 30, 2015 – Novartis Pharmaceuticals announced the release of new features for its ViaOpta applications, and the extension for use with smart watches. The discreet, hands-free nature of using ViaOpta app with wearable devices, such as 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.
Real-World Patient Benefits
“With the help of ViaOpta apps, people with impaired vision can do things such as walk to a nearby café, go to the pharmacy, and pick up their grandchildren at the kindergarten – helping to increase confidence and independence and maintaining discretion,” explains Ian Banks, Chair, The European Forum Against Blindness (EFAB).ViaOpta Nav is the first turn-by-turn navigation app available for a wearable device designed specifically for visually impaired people, providing voice guidance and vibration settings, which alert the user to upcoming intersections and landmarks. The users can ask for their exact position, add waypoints to a calculated route, and find nearby destinations or landmarks and save them as favorites. Users and their caretakers can also share and access a person’s exact location.
- Points of Interest Feature: The user will now be able to see Points of Interest nearby, divided into categories, find information on them and set a navigation to a specific point of interest. This also includes information on specific accessibility facilities around them, such as tactile pavement and crossings, traffic lights with sound (provided that this information is available on OpenStreetMaps for the area which the user is in)
- Extended Map Coverage: The app coverage has been extended to the whole world, although coverage is less in rural areas