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AFB: Trekker Breeze is “Easy”

March 25 2009 | by

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Jay Leventhal, editor in chief of the American Foundation for the Blind’s AccessWorld blog, has posted a thorough review of the Trekker Breeze, HumanWare’s pared-down version of the Trekker GPS device that helps visually impaired people get from point A to point B. The Breeze has fewer buttons and a simplified interface. Its most prominent feature is a large orange ‘Where Am I’ button that provides information about your location. Leventhal, who is blind, says the Breeze “is designed to be an easy-to-use device for people who are not sophisticated computer users.”

According to the review:

“[The Breeze] announces intersections as you walk. You can record names of landmarks when you are near them. Later you can select a landmark and have the Breeze lead you to it. If you make a wrong turn, the Breeze says ‘You are off route. Please turn back.’ At that point, you can either retrace your steps or have the Breeze direct you to your destination from where you are.”

There are a couple of downsides. First, unlike fully loaded GPS devices (like the original Trekker), with the Breeze it’s not possible to enter numeric addresses and the user cannot program routes to unfamiliar destinations. Also, the price of $895 is quite high. Someone who isn’t blind who purchases a GPS system for their car pays about $200-$500, still much less than a nearly $900 price tag. While devices for the blind are seemingly more sophisticated, it’s still a lot to pay, though for many, it does offer the gift of independence.

Read the full article at AFB

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